Santa Cruz Wharf damaged, after being battered by storm

Waves slammed the Santa Cruz Wharf, causing damage to the structure on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (Santa Cruz Wharf / City of Santa Cruz )

The powerful storms to hammer the region over the weekend left heavy damage to parts of the historic Santa Cruz Wharf.

Wharf officials said the damage happened Sunday, as torrential downpours, intense winds and massive waves slammed the area.

SEE ALSO: California storm: Tens of thousands in Bay Area still without power

They said the severe pounding to the structure led to the failure of several bents which are part of the structural support of the wharf. 

"Lose one here and there, no big deal," explained wharf supervisor Britt Hoberg, who went on to say that losing several bents in a row can lead to dangerous sagging to the structure.

Santa Cruz Wharf suffered storm damage on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (Santa Cruz Wharf / City of Santa Cruz )

Dramatic photos shared with KTVU showed the walkway of a section of the wharf undulating as well as damage to a section of the water-facing side of the structure.

(Santa Cruz Wharf / City of Santa Cruz )

(Santa Cruz Wharf / City of Santa Cruz )

City officials closed the end section of the wharf, which included a restroom, sea lion viewing holes and the Dolphin Restaurant, which suffered major flooding. 

"The whole dining room is floating," Hoberg said.

SEE ALSO: California storm photos show dramatic damage across state

The supervisor told KTVU that, weather permitting, the city planned to bring in an engineer this week to assess the severity and extent of the wharf damage.

Sea lions under the Santa Cruz Wharf. On Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, stormy conditions damaged the end section of the Wharf.  (Santa Cruz Wharf / City of Santa Cruz )

Meanwhile, city officials stressed to the public that the rest of the wharf was open for business.

On Tuesday, with sunny skies back, wharf officials invited people to visit and patronize the area's stores and restaurants. Along with a fun photo advertising free parking, city officials took to social media to say, "Come down and support our local businesses on the Wharf!" 

Officials encouraged the public to stay up to date with wharf conditions and repairs by checking in with @santacruzwharf on social media.