Storms prompt rare temporary closing of Huntington Beach

Lifeguards temporarily closed Huntington Beach on Tuesday evening for the second time in nearly two decades due to a lightning threat from a nearby storm.

"This is the second time we've closed the beach because of lightning in my 37 year career," said Michael Baumgartner, a marine safety chief for the city of Huntington Beach.

"We pretty much had 40,000 people off the beach in 20 minutes, so it was pretty quick."

There was an extra amount of people at the beach due to the US Open of surfing, which is in action at Huntington this week.

Edgar Martinez was one of the surfers evacuated from the water.

"It was kind of eerie you know, the beach was just full one minute and then completely empty the next," he said.

"Never seen it before, it was pretty interesting to see, like something out of a movie."

The beach would later reopen to the public after the threat had passed.

Baumgartner told FOX 11 they weren't going to take any chances after a man was killed by a lighting strike at Venice Beach in 2014, and many others were injured.

The OC wasn't the only area hit by storms.

Viewers sent in video showing howling wind, pounding rain, lightning, and downed trees from all across the Southland.

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