Monday, January 3, 2011

After the Storm - Laguna Beach

About two weeks ago I posted Big Doings in So Cal. As you already know, there was a lot of storm damage here. Yesterday my wife and I went downtown to check out how the repairs and clean up was going.

The morning after the storm (photo LA Times)

Yesterday - A major chunk of beach is gone...

Same view as above, but from the street. A large chunk of lawn and sand are missing.

And this is after the dozers moved most of the mud. (LA Times)

No Movie Today!  (LA Times)

What are you doing out here lady? (LA Times)

This is the same spot as the flood video in the earlier post (LA Times)
What a dufus!

Morning After the Storm (Mitch Ridder - OCinsite)

Same intersection as last two photos - Yesterday

A lot of folks had the same idea as we did yesterday. It was the first nice and clear day in a few weeks. Pretty cold (by our standards), but that didn't stop a lot of people from coming out.  About 12 days ago this intersection was under a flood of mud and water. It's amazing how they managed to get it all cleaned up so quickly. Also very surprising was the fact that almost every store was open for business.   I guess when your city's main source of income is tourism, you don't waste any time.

This stuff didn't quite make it to the ocean (LA Times)

On Wednesday I'll post some non-storm related photos from Laguna.


  1. Wow Pat.
    You sure have had your share of weather!!!
    It's crazy in a lot of places it seems.
    Like your take on some of the photos;))

  2. Wow, that looks like quite the clean up in operation. What a mess. It's easy to get complacent about life then mother nature comes along and reminds you of her superiority. You always forget how destructive storms are until you're in one!

    Sigh, palm trees. All I can see out my window is snow, snow and more snow. Currently -27 degrees C. I'll take California any day. :)

    Hope your town is all better soon. Happy new year, Pat!

  3. I am amazed at the remarkable clean up in so short of time.

    The whole thing was horrendous and you brought it home with your personal pictures.

  4. this is so sad for the locals! I know Laguna beach from that stupid reality show on MTV and it is such a nice place! bummer..

  5. It's raining again. (As if you didn't know...)

  6. WOW. Is that a REAL car in the water (in the last photo)? Or a child's toy? And a shed/trailer?

    It is hard to envision the beach erosion when the beach such a foreign object to some of us. BUT... glad to see one thing we all have in common - pigeons sitting on street lights (in your Broadway intersection photo).

    You did this better than all the newspapers put together! Thanks, Pat.

  7.'s quite frightening to see the extent of the damage! Good that things are getting back to normal so quickly though...

  8. Wow those pictures show just how a couple days of rain really mess up Cali.

  9. Sorry to see all the chaos and destruction, but those are some really great pics, Pat. The first especially wants to be painted. You have such a great eye.

  10. And yes, I noticed the photo credits later. Still great pics either way.

  11. I can't believe how bad it was. I heard about it on the radio and TV but the pictures really show the extent of the damage. I hope not too many were hurt.

  12. Dawn - thanks! I wish I had taken them all. It's raining again!

    TVA - Oh yeah! Mother nature will just kick your butt once in a while to let us know. BRRRR!!!
    Happy New Year!

    Jerry - Amazing how quickly it was cleaned up. Happy New Year!

    Megan - It sure is. It's been raining here since yesterday afternoon.

    Brenda - It is a real car, a Porsche... Those sheds are big shipping containers. That's how strong the water was! Those are probably the same darn pigeons!

    Nat - Also surprising that so many people were out gawking! Happy New Year!

    Oilfield Trash - Yup! It's been pretty much raining for over two weeks. The storm that did this was almost 10 inches overnight. Unheard of around here. You are right, we aren't used to it.

    Rabbit - Thanks Micael! I can only take credit for a few of them. Water does amazing things! I live on top of a steep hill and we are always worried about slides.

    baygirl - It sure is, glad I didn't have to clean it up!

  13. Clarissa - Thanks! I don't think anybody involved in this part of it was hurt. Happy New Year!

  14. That is awful. I sure hope the worst is over and I sure hope the storms leave you all alone so you can get caught up. What a mess.

  15. glad they got it cleaned up so quickly. we still have a street that is under 8 feet of water. of course, had they not paved a road through the middle of a lake during a drought, that wouldn't be an issue, but hey! it rains like this, what? every 5 years or so??

  16. I like the first photo very much. Greetings.

  17. These are amazing! Thanks for putting them up Pat.

  18. Wow Pat! That is some WILD footage! You guys got hit hard down south!

  19. Wow... to think I was there for all that. One thing that's good about natural disasters is how it brings out the best in people. That and poetic pictures of course!

  20. 2010 may have been year of the flood for a lot of places across the US. Looks like 2011 may be it for Australia.

  21. Wow, this must be a tragedy for the locals.
    Makes me stop complaining about snow and cold weather Patrick.
    Have a nice week:)
    Greetings from Berit.

  22. Really awesome this series on the effects of rain.

  23. Wow...that's crazy!!! I heard about all your rain...but wow!

    Happy New Year, dude. Hope you're feeling well these days!

  24. Just makes us remember who's really in charge...Mother Nature can be nasty sometimes.

    Glad you and your family were safe.

    Sending you warm wishes for a 2011 filled with joy, grace, discoveries and adventure!

  25. Unbelievable, Pat.... I read about all of the storms and flooding in CA ---and then today, I read about all of the SNOW in Southern CA... Crazy weather --all over the country....

    Thanks for sharing. Glad Laguna Beach is coming back so fast...

  26. I'm listening to the radio news about floods in Queensland while reading your blog and looking at these awful pictures.

    I don't think my spirit would be strong enough to cope with this.

    Hope 2011 sorts out the weather and that you will all be fine.


  27. Wow, that's a lot of damage! And sand.

  28. That was a really nice car... Well, even the best cars make plentiful landfill fodder.
    looks bad but great photojournalism.

  29. WoW! We were in Canada for most of this weather! Thanks for these pictures!

    Let's all just dry out a little, shall we?

  30. That's just crazy. Here's hoping this year is drier for everyone round the country (But not so dry it's a drought. Figure I should throw that in.)

  31. I just spent Christmas week in San Diego and got to see the destruction first hand. We benefited from all of the snow at Big Bear, but had to adjust our tourist activities because of the rain...Legoland is no fun in the rain!
    Happy New Year! I hope everything dries out and the landslides cease.

  32. My Heart Breaks!! But People will recover--that's what I LOVE about the Human Spirit!

    Blessings to you my Friend!


  33. Wow, how amazingly awful. But it is miraculous how well they cleaned it up.
    And now I know not to complain too much when we get a blizzard...because when the white stuff melts, no damage lays underneath it! Thanks for sharing these up and personal pictures with us!

  34. Wow Pat! And we thought we had a mess with the snow. That's incredible. Laguna is such a beautiful place too.

  35. It is amazing at how fast some places are getting cleaned up and how many others are still buried, raining again today here hopefully we will have some sunshine before long.

  36. Relatives told us that the rains were bad, but seeing the aftermath was amazing!

  37. Wow. I am glad that things are getting back to normal over there. I hope no one was hurt from that storm!


  38. What a mess that must have been. I have been in hurricane aftermath so I always think of that when ever I hear or see news like yours. Glad you stayed safe.

  39. GeezLouise, Pat! that is incredible...I find it amazing the damage a storm of any kind can do; reminds us we aren't in charge!

  40. Moving out to sea, I do NOT like to read/see pictures about major storms to remind me of my vulnerability. Mother Nature sure is powerful, isn't she? All caught up in my own story, I had no idea you were in deluge mode. Great photo-journalism, Patrick. Stay safe. Rosemary

  41. Brian - It's been raining for the last two days, but not too badly! Thanks!

    Costea - Getting better every day.

    diane rene - that's terrible! you are right, good thing it doesn't happen too often.

    Japy - thanks Japy! Happy New Year!

    Penny - Thanks so much! My pleasure.

    Nancy - I think it was pretty bad for us, but in the overall scheme of things....

    Miss Nikki - Thanks! Good thing you weren't in the middle of it. Happy New Year!

    Budd - I hope it will be a good year for everyone!

    Bare bilder - Much work for everyone. I think I'd rather have the water than the cold!

    Leovi - Thanks so much! Glad it's over (I hope)

    Marlene - Thanks Marlene! Happy New Year to you as well. I'm doing great!

    Jenny - You are so right! Every once in a while she slaps us around a bit. thanks! Happy New Year to you and your family also.

    Betsy - At least the snow is a bit higher, but it was pretty darn low yesterday. Laguna will be back to it's old self before summer, I'm sure.

    Esther - I agree! Here's to a good 2011 for everyone!

    Alex - Yeah, nature moved it one way and man tried to move what was left of it back.

    Jhon - Yep! I liked how the two firemen on the end were using their phones to take photos.

    Bossy Betty - I'd like to dry out. It's been raining again for the best part of two days where I live.

    Warren - You are right! The hills are rock and clay, once it's saturated all the surface soil (that's soft) starts washing down the valleys and canyons.

    Tim - I hear you! It's a crime that all this water just drains to the ocean. We sure could use it during the summer.

    #1Nana - Oh yeah, big problems down there also. Happy New Year to you also!

    John - It will take some time, but you are right. thanks John!

    Joan - My pleasure! I'm not too much of a cold weather, but frozen water is better than flooding.

    Ally - It will be back to beautiful before spring and summer. I don't know what would happen if it snowed right here.

    Jimmy - Yeah, I know Laguna has some bucks and a lot of equipment for a small town. So they are pretty much self contained.

    Blue Wave - It got pretty bad! A lot of us are nuts for living in canyons and on hillsides!

    Kato - Yes, it's amazing that nobody was hurt. Thanks!

    Chuck - I'm sure this doesn't compare with a hurricane, but we're not used any extreme weather at all.

    Tracy - We are most certainly NOT in charge! Thanks!

    Rosemary - No problem! Compared to many places, this isn't bad at all. We just don't get much water, so when it happens, it's scary! Enjoy your trip!

  42. Snow? Mud? Rain? Is anyone safe from Mother Nature's wrath?

  43. I would be most upset over the movie theater being closed.

    I posted some trivia today if you wanted to play.

  44. if we have over 10 inches of snow the complete country has a problem..especially if we run out of salt. That's how bad we are used to extreme weather.

    Luckily we haven't had any disastrous floods for years and where I live (northern part of the Netherlands) I can't remember any nature problems except from the snow/ice problems.
    Looks a big mess over at your place..

  45. Wow. As a woman who cleans other peoples' homes for a (part-time) living, all that clean-up looks utterly exhausting. What a mess -- my heart goes out to all the people whose lives have been affected.


  46. My husband's colleague was travelling along the 101 when a lot of this was going on. They got stranded (somewhere?) and ended up stuck in a Motel 6, that all of a sudden, was charging $169/night. Your shots of the washouts are both spectacular and terrifying! - G

  47. What horrible weather conditions.
    I hope no one was hurt from that storm.
    Glad you and yours were safe.


  48. The last photo certainly says it all.

  49. Wow Pat- those are crazy photos- The devastation is so time consuming to clean up yet they seem to have made great strides- I have been reading about the storms on the East coast and how slow the clean up has been there-
    I'll retweet this- I didn't realize you're on twitter.
    I'm byladyren

    BTW curious to know which 2 books from the list you didn't get to yet-
    My two are:
    Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs and Walden by Henry David Thoreau
    which reminds me I should order them from the library. Have a good day!

  50. Jesse - No one is safe! We went for a long walk today and saw quite a few mud slides in our area.

    PTM - It's a REALLY old movie theater also. I've been over and submitted my answers!

    Arjan - Ten inches of snow would cause anarchy here! Nice and clear here today. Everything is still soaked though.

    Pearl - Speaking of cleaning. I must have picked up about five pounds of mud on my shoes from our walk today. It's sad to see that some folks lose everything because of weather.

    Betty - It's usually property and infrastructure that takes the brunt of it. thanks!

    Sharon - They were afraid that there was somebody in the car at first. there wasn't...

    Ren - It must be much harder to clean up in a urban setting... I was amazed how fast it was cleaned up here....
    Naked Lunch. and the Stranger are the two I don't remember reading.

  51. Wow. And I thought our blizzard was bad. At least snow melts.

  52. Glenn - I'm think I'll pass on the blizzard! I guess it's like earthquakes. We are used to them, so we don't freak out.

  53. Wow! Great pics! But major destruction. Stay safe, Pat!

  54. Wow that is pretty bad! I thought the storms and even tornadoes were bad when I was there last January but this looks much worse.
    Nice shots I like the before and after view.

  55. My gosh, Pat, these pics are incredible! Hope that everything gets back to normal, soon.

  56. MM - Thanks! It was quite a mess, that's for sure! We are safe and sound.

    James - It was pretty bad. Having lived here, you know what a little rain does to us. That Tuesday night, we had almost 10 inches of rain! It NEVER rains like that here, so there was no where for all the water to go. Thanks James!

    Marguerite - It's getting back to normal. Still a lot of trees laying around, but nothing in the roads. thanks!

  57. Holy smokes! I had no idea it was that bad. I have seen literally nothing in the news. You've done a fine job capturing it all on film though.

  58. Cheeseboy - Thanks! It's already yesterday's news here also...

  59. Stunning pictures, Pat. Mother Nature is sort of like a crazy lady on the roof who's all sunny and singing lullabies to us one day, and riproaring around screaming and uprooting trees the next...

  60. Margaret - You are so right! She is a fickle beast...

  61. Wow. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze.

  62. A terrible mess...something we r used to here...but it brings strangers together to clean up and rebuild...words r redundant...the pics say it all...Happy new year to you and your family too...

  63. Oh jeez, that bottom photo . . . not so good. Loved the ones with the dressed up people playing in the mud. Also, your place is beginning to look like the Pacific Northwest. I felt right at home.

  64. m - Yep, she lets us know who is in charge!

    Rek - Thanks so much! Happy New Year to you and your family also.

    tapirgal - It's supposed to start raining again tonight, but not too much...I think we've had enough for a while!

  65. Wow, Mother Nature can really create a mess when she gets going. I'm glad it's over and the clean up is going well.

    Saw your comment to Glenn, having lived in AK and NorCal blizzards and earthquakes are something I am very familiar with so I know what you mean. The floods in NorCal took a little getting used to for me. Fortunately there was only one while we lived there.

  66. SQ - She sure can! I agree about the EQ's. We are very spoiled by our mild weather down here. thanks!

  67. It's a weird wether year. Too much rain and cold.

  68. Anon - Yes, the only upside I can see for us, is the absence of a fire season this year.


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