Powerful Surf Pushes Back Wave Watcher's Car in Santa Cruz

The power of the storm conditions along California’s coast on Thursday, January 5, was dramatically demonstrated for one wave watcher, when water came crashing down on her car, sweeping it along several feet.

Heather Mietz Egli said she recorded this footage on Thursday morning from the scenic West Cliff Drive lookout in Santa Cruz. While shooting “crazy wave videos,” she said a “gigantic wave” moved her car about five feet, depositing seawater and rocks through its moonroof, and causing damage to the car’s exterior.

“I don’t know what happened to the person standing out there – hoping I took the brunt of it,” Egli wrote in her Instagram caption. “I’m drenched from the ocean while sitting in my car, but man – I could have been killed by a rock or metal coming through my windshield.”

Evacuation efforts were underway for parts of the Capitola coast area on Thursday, according to local reports. The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office asked people to stay away from the coastline. Credit: Heather Mietz Egli via Storyful

Video transcript

- I don't think it's smart.

I don't think it's smart.