On Thursday morning, Lindsay Maggioncalda was on her laptop in a meeting for her job at Duolingo, the language platform, on the second floor of her oceanfront home in Santa Cruz. Suddenly, a wave struck the storm-resistant window mere feet away from where she was sitting on the couch.
“Tons of water just went bam, like a huge crash, big vibrations,” Ms. Maggioncalda, 25, said. “I was gasping.”
Her father, Jeff Maggioncalda, ventured into the soaked neighborhood to film the chaos, retreating quickly when more waves blasted through the gaps in the street near him.
“This was by far the worst storm we’ve seen,” said Mr. Maggioncalda, 54, the chief executive of the online education company Coursera.
During a dry period on Saturday, residents were doing their best to clear logs from their yards, replace soggy sandbags and shovel away the sand that had burst through their garage doors.
Walking on Rio Del Mar Beach in Aptos with her two dogs, Isaura Rochin, 52, was picking up trash that had swept onto the beach. In the distance, the S.S. Palo Alto, a World War I-era concrete tanker ship beloved by local residents, who know it as the Cement Ship, had been badly damaged by the storm, and part of the pier connecting it to Seacliff State Beach had crumbled into the sea.
“I’m sad about the wharf,” Ms. Rochin said. “The Cement Ship, I’m sad, but it’s been deteriorating for years and years.”