SEAL BEACH, Calif. — Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie in the Pacific Ocean pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town, knocking pilings from under the Malibu Pier and drawing daredevil surfers and body-boarders into churning waves as crowds of spectators lined the shore.

Residents of about four blocks of homes along Seal Beach, south of Los Angeles, swept seawater from ground-floor rooms after flooding overnight, and bulldozers reinforced a 6-foot-tall sand berm hastily built to protect shoreline structures.

Despite the danger, surfers and body-boarders flocked to favored spots such as the notorious Wedge at Newport Beach and Surfrider in Malibu, where a surfer died Tuesday after being pulled from the water. It was not clear whether the death was related to a medical condition.

Extra lifeguards were on duty and made repeated rescues.

“It’s very hectic, stormy and dangerous, really,” said Scott Bosco, 26, who surfed Seal Beach for an hour. “You live for days like this. I’m definitely coming back later after school.”

Life-threatening water conditions were expected to continue through Thursday.


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