Tsunami waves reached 6 feet (2 meters) in parts of northern California and forced thousands from coastal homes.
About 35 boats and harbor docks were damaged in northern Crescent City, while Santa Cruz harbor sustained about $2 million in damages, emergency officials told local television.
Two surges have hit Crescent City so far, the first about 3.7 feet (1 meter) and the second somewhat higher, local Emergency Operations Center spokesman Joey Young said.
Officials urged Californians not to assume the worst was over. "We're just getting started," said Jordan Scott, a spokesman for the California Emergency Management Agency.