Published: Mar 11, 2011 7:32 PM EST
Updated: Mar 11, 2011 4:32 PM EST

CRESCENT CITY, Calif.- Waves from a tsunami caused surges along California's coast that shook some boats loose from docks, as beach-area residents evacuated to higher ground.

The tide began rising shortly after 7:30 a.m. in Crescent City, near the Oregon border, where the tsunami was expected to hit the hardest in California.

By midmorning, waves crashed against the bluffs, as residents gathered on the overlooks to watch. The California Highway Patrol estimated about 35 boats in the harbor were damaged.

On the central coast in Santa Cruz, loose fishing boats crashed into one another and chunks of wooden docks broke off. The water rushed out as quickly as it poured in, leaving the boats tipped over in mud.

Some surfers ignored evacuation warnings and took advantage of the waves ahead of the tsunami.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)