A New Year’s Eve party not to be forgotten

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Watercolor by Bill Anderson of Anderson Art Gallery in Sunset Beach.

Years ago, local residents were sometimes concerned about possible flooding on New Year’s Eve. “When we’d get big waves, high tides and storms, there could be flooding south of the Pier this time of year,” said surfer John McCurnin, who grew up in the area and had a grandmother who lived at Ocean and 12th.

“Friends worried that flooding might affect driving, damage residences and ruin plans for New Year’s Eve parties,” said the Seal Beach homeowner, who retired following a career working on the nearby gas and oil islands.

The city of Seal Beach has helped overcome many flood threats by having tall sand berms erected in November, south of the Seal Beach Pier.

Flooding in coastal and inland areas has always been a concern for Californians this time of year.

“During the last week of December, residents of Marysville, north of Sacramento, had a very wet Holiday Season in 1852,” said historian Craig MacDonald. “Several days and nights of heavy rain caused the Yuba and Feather Rivers to overflow, putting Hotel Merchant’s first floor underwater. The Merchant was where many were going to ring in the New Year.”

“Would the much-anticipated New Year’s Eve Party and Dance have to be canceled? Not on your life. They weren’t about to let a major flood dampen their holiday spirit. The creative party-goers rented boats and rowed to the second floor, where the ballroom was located.”

“We danced merrily until morning,” wrote one thrilled attendee in her diary. “I never had more fun. It was something we’ll never forget!”

A New Year’s Eve party not to be forgotten