High surf raises anxiety levels for some North Shore homeowners - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

High surf raises anxiety levels for North Shore homes near erosion

SUNSET BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A High Surf Advisory for the north shore of Oahu brought out surfers and visitors Sunday. But it was also nerve-wracking for some residents along Ke Nui Road, as the surf ate away at a coastline already eroded by waves.

Just off Sunset Beach, heavy equipment remained parked. It was part of an emergency effort to try to stem the tide of erosion.   

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources had authorized the effort to push sand from the nearby stream mouth to the eroded area. The city also authorized the placing of sand bags, including some fronting the home of pro surfer Fred Patacchia, Jr. Waves had covered some of the bags with sand.

A few doors down at the Yee residence, wooded braces have been installed in an effort to try to hold up the structure in case the erosion gets any closer and the foundation begins to slip. The yard fronting the shoreline had extended 40 feet past the home. The edge is now just a few feet away.   

While the waves were bad news for those residents, they still drew visitors who wanted to see the big surf. One was visiting from the San Francisco area, which is near the big wave surf spot known as Mavericks.

"I haven't seen it, but I've watched it on T.V. That's really something," said May McKoon. "but then you guys get these waves out here, too."   

A former North Carolina resident was watching the waves at Ehukai. She said she has seen cases there were Mother Nature has reclaimed coastlines and homes. "Houses fall in the water," said Brenda Leinthall.

Signs were posted at Sunset and other North Shore beaches, warning against swimming and about the crashing shorebreak and strong rip currents. 

Conditions weren't the best. Wave-watchers said there were at least two different swells that were coming from different directions, which made the waves sloppy. Surfers still turned out to see what they could get.

While the waves drew the visitors and surfers, the owners of the homes along Ke Nui are still holding their breath, hoping the waves won't do more damage. They're also hoping that they'll be allowed to take more measures to keep their properties from washing away.

Related story: High Surf Advisory issued for Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui


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