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L.A. County beaches closed due to chance of storm lightning

Los Angeles County closed its beaches Friday morning after the lingering winter storm brought the threat of lightning, officials said.

The closures run from Marina del Rey to Zuma Beach, the L.A. County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division announced in a tweet. The National Weather Service detected a thunderstorm around 9:30 a.m. in the Santa Monica Bay area and warned beachgoers to watch for lightning. Hail also fell on Manhattan Beach, according to Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard.

The county Public Health Department also warned that bacteria, chemicals, debris and trash carried by runoff from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters near storm drains.

“Individuals who enter the water in these areas could become ill,” the advisory noted.

The weather service’s El Segundo rain gauge recorded .16 inches of rain in five minutes just before 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Farther south, the Huntington Beach Fire Department issued a voluntary evacuation of all beaches in the city through 5 p.m.

We are issuing a voluntary evacuation of all beaches in Huntington Beach City due to the threat of lighting. This evacuation will last until 1700 hours unless otherwise directed by the National Weather Service. #HuntingtonBeach #HBFD

— Huntington Beach Fire Department (@HBFD_PIO) January 29, 2021

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