A storm surge sweeps through Ventura Harbor, destroying docks and damaging boats

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC)– Video shared with Eyewitness News shows the moment Thursday’s powerful storm surge smashed through the Ventura Keys harbor, maiming and damaging the docks.

Waves tore boats from their moorings, crashing them into each other, damaging and destroying dozens of docks.

“We’re at the very back of the harbor here in Ventura and when the water hits the dead end here there’s nowhere else to go,” said Rob Perlow, who shared the video with ABC7. “It will explode and just push all the water and the water will go where it wants.”

After boats and docks broke loose and floated free, towboats and emergency crews immediately got to work.

“It’s really risky what we’re doing,” said TowBoatUS Capt. Carson Shevitz. “We move concrete barges with sharp corners and sloping concrete with rebar sticking out along some really nice yachts, some quarter-million dollar yachts. So that’s not something we want to do unless we have to, so we’re probably moving seven, eight docks. There’s a lot more back there than leaving until conditions calmed down was the safest thing to do.”

He said crews had moved at least six stranded boats to new docks.

Harbor Master John Higgins said Thursday eight docks were damaged and taken out of the water. He said the powerful wave smashed through the harbor around 3pm on Thursday at low tide.

“Leaving them in the water is a hazard to other boats,” he said. “Most of these docks were completely detached and were floating inside the canal and colliding with boats, so they had to be removed from the water.”

Another resident captured the sudden surge right in front of her home. You can hear the crunch as anchors break, docks break and boats crash into one another.

Higgins said it will take several days to fully assess the damage and clear any damaged docks and boats.

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https://abc7.com/storm-surge-ventura-harbor-docks-destroyed-boats-damaged/12666104/ A storm surge sweeps through Ventura Harbor, destroying docks and damaging boats

Laura Coffey

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