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Coastal areas get ready for late fall and winter weather with waterfront protections

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The "splash and dash" rain storm this morning on the Central Coast wasn't enough to cause any serious concerns, but it is a gentle reminder to get ready for more if the weather turns fierce in the weeks ahead.

Last winter season was mostly calm. No evacuations were ordered.

This year, it's still too early to know exact patterns. Most of the rain recently has gone to the Pacific Northwest.

In areas often hard hit by weather systems, such as Leadbetter Beach or the Santa Barbara Harbor, some of the people on walks recall seeing storms that have hit the breakwater wall hard.

Bob Larsen from Goleta says, "oh yea and coming over, " from the wall to the inner harbor area.

A newly built sand berm is up there.

"We do it every year  and I think it helps," said Marian Azdril. She and others have seen the wall of protection keep the yacht club from structural damage during tidal surges.

Without the berm, Larsen said, "oh it comes in underneath the Yacht club on a high high tide."

Radu Azdril has seen it come close already. "We were out here a couple of months ago  and the tide was high enough that it was actually was approaching under the yacht club before the berm was here."

Along the Carpinteria coast, condos and apartments are located right at the beach front.

 It may be called the World's Safest Beach but this area also has, at times, aggressive waves and the city goes on defense this time of year.

If early season storms break down the berms,  heavy equipment will return to build back the wall until the winter weather ends.

For one visitor who is familiar with changes in the waterfront zone on the Central Coast,  if there is a sea level rise, it is happening he says, slowly.

Bill Dyer is from Grover Beach and is familiar with several coastal areas. "The water level is a little higher in Avila when you get the high tides and you get the swells it will splash up on the parking lot. It is a little unusual." He does not see sea level rise as an immediate concern.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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