NEWPORT BEACH (AP) — Los Angeles County health officials are advising swimmers and surfers to stay out of the ocean for at least three days because of heavy storm runoff.
The advisory issued Monday came as a massive storm system moved through Southern California with heavy rain and minor flooding.
Seawater bacteria levels can increase significantly during and after rainstorms as contaminants in storm runoff enter the ocean via storm drains, creeks and rivers.
The advisories are common customary following heavy rains. The current advisory is in place through Thursday morning.
The downpours are expected to lighten throughout the morning, but there is another chance of rain Tuesday night into Wednesday and again later in the week.
Rare orca whale
sighting in SoCal
Whale watchers in Southern California were treated to a rare sighting of Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales.
Dale Frink, a photographer and naturalist who runs a whale-watching cruise, says the five orcas, including a small calf, were seen near Point Vicente on Saturday.
He says the Eastern Tropical Pacific orcas, identified by a darker saddle area behind the dorsal fin, make only rare appearances in Orange County waters. They’re more common off San Diego and south to Peru.
California Killer Whale Project researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger tells the Orange County Register) that it was her first time seeing the rare type of orca in 35 years of research.
Frink says the boat followed the pod for about a half hour. .