Santa Cruz Storm 2023 in photos: A look around the county as the ocean hammers the coastline

Capitola's wharf was heavily damaged in this week's storms.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As strong waves and high tides hit the Santa Cruz coastline hard, we’ve captured the scene from around the county.

The ocean was the main culprit in Thursday’s dangerous conditions around Santa Cruz County.

Large waves filled with debris and high tides have prompted the closure of the Santa Cruz Wharf and a good chunk of West Cliff Drive.

Farther south, Capitola, Rio Del Mar and Seacliff experienced problems of their own. The Cement Ship, Capitola Wharf and the Aptos Pier were hit hard all day.

We have compiled pictures from around the county, illustrating the damage sustained from the historic storm.

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West Cliff Drive

Forceful waves and high tides busted up a number of fences along West Cliff Drive and drenched the sidewalk, creating unsafe pedestrian and automobile conditions.

West Cliff Drive on Thursday, January 5, 2023.
(Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The already blocked-off portion of the road that collapsed over a month ago sustained additional damage as well.

Portions of West Cliff Drive were closed because of dangerous conditions and damage from this week's storm.
(Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz )

Seacliff and Rio Del Mar

Seacliff pier and the iconic cement ship took on significant damage Thursday, resulting in the ship breaking away from the pier.

Damage to the Cement Ship, Seacliff pier and surrounding areas was extensive Thursday morning.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
The Cement Ship in Aptos gets battered by the ocean on Thursday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Rio Del Mar saw significant flooding as well.

Residents walk down the flooded streets of Rio Del Mar.
Residents walk down the flooded streets of Rio Del Mar on Thursday, January 5, 2023 after a bomb cyclone hit the coast.
(Fernando Haro Garcia / Long Beach Post)


The Capitola wharf was no stranger to storm damage either, as it partially collapsed Thursday morning.

The Capitola Wharf was damaged during Thursday's massive northwest swell.
(Via Danny Jacobsmeyer)
One of the damaged portions of the Capitola Wharf.
(Via Anthony DiFranco)


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