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Uproar as popular California beach is closed with no end in sight due to major failure

Californians have shared their disappointment after a popular beach was closed indefinitely due to extensive storm damage.

Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara was closed this week after several winter storms and torrential rains left behind massive sinkholes and fallen trees.

The state parks department said it made the decision after “the complete failure of an extensive culvert system,” and that there is “no expected reopening date at this time.”

Locals said the move is a tragic loss ahead of summer, resident Shannon Brooks said SF port that it ‘holds a special place in my heart.’

Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, California is typically known for its great surfing, camping and fishing, but locals were heartbroken to learn it will be closed this summer

Severe storms and heavy rainfall ravaged the west coast earlier this year, forcing the beach to close indefinitely

Severe storms and heavy rainfall ravaged the west coast earlier this year, forcing the beach to close indefinitely

Brooks described Refugio State Park as a “bit of a hidden gem,” and is typically less crowded than the tourist beaches further south in Santa Barbara.

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It’s known for idyllic surfing, fishing and camping, but those who normally enjoy the west coast will be forced to look elsewhere this summer.

“I hope Refugio opens in the not so distant future because it is truly a magical place that is loved by so many people,” Brooks added.

Earlier this year, the region was hit by several winter storms that brought massive rainfall, which also closed nearby Gaviota State Park.

While Gaviota has since reopened after the rubble and damage was cleared, Refugio has struggled to recover.

In fact, the parks department said the failure of the culvert system — used for drainage — “resulted in numerous sinkholes across multiple agency jurisdictions.”

The 'complete failure' of the beach's drainage system came after extensive storm damage

The ‘complete failure’ of the beach’s drainage system came after extensive storm damage

Trees were toppled and debris was spread across the beach by the weather front

Trees were toppled and debris was spread across the beach by the weather front

The beach was also known for its 100-year-old palm trees, which were planted more than a century ago after being brought in from the Canary Islands.

Images showed that the palm trees had fallen to the ground due to the storm.

As news of the fallen trees spread online, locals shared their heartbreak, with one word in mind Instagram their “favorite beach since I was a kid will never be the same.”

‘Married there. Sad to see these iconic trees falling,” said another.

Due to the damage to several area beaches and parks, including Gaviota and El Capitan State Beaches, California State Parks updated its management plans in a statement.

“All three parks have undergone many changes since the original General Plans were adopted, and the guidelines from the 1979 plans are now outdated,” the department said.

Locals said they were heartbroken to hear their 'favorite beach' will be closed this summer

Locals said they were heartbroken to hear their ‘favorite beach’ will be closed this summer

“Ongoing damage from severe winter storms, looming sea level rise and other impacts of climate change, aging infrastructure, significant new property acquisition and (and) high demand for recreation.”

The department also noted “the need to protect natural, cultural and recreational resources all contribute to the need for updated plans that reflect the current realities of these three park units.”

To help clean up the beaches, the California Conservation Corps and Caltrans are stepping in to help California State Parks.

“Staff is doing everything they can to get the parks back into a condition where we can reopen them,” Dena Bellman, chief planning officer for State Parks Channel Coast District, told Noozhawk.

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