Thursday, December 8 , 2016, 9:42 pm | Overcast 58º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Big Waves Destroy Part of Gaviota Pier; More Damage Possible from Storm Tides

Gaviota State Park closed as about 50 feet of structure are lost; Refugio State Beach also shut down

Part of the Gaviota Pier collapsed into the sea Saturday after being battered by large waves that were riding on high tides, according to the California State Parks Department.

The seaward 50 feet of the structure at Gaviota State Park was destroyed shortly before 8:30 a.m., said Eric Hjelstrom, sector supervisor for State Parks.

“Waves were breaking over top of the pier,” Hjelstrom said. “They took out some pilings, and once one goes, they all go down like dominos.”

About one third of the pier was lost — just seaward of the boat hoist, Hjelstrom said, adding that park officials were concerned that continued heavy surf could do more damage to the structure.

“The strongest portion of the pier is the section that has the big crane,” he noted. “But when the tide goes out, those waves will hit right at that part that’s left. We could lose the hoist.”

Gaviota State Park, which had storm surge coming up to the parking lot restrooms, is closed, Hjelstrom said, as is Refugio State Beach, which “looks like a cobble beach.”

El Capitan State Beach remained open, he said.

» Winter Storm Brings Excitement to Rain-Starved Central Coast

» Storm Surf Forces Evacuation, Closure of Goleta Beach

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Click here for Facebook video by by Ranger Jelly.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >