Lester bringing dangerously high surf to east-facing shores - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lester bringing dangerously high surf to east-facing shores

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Jess Key (Image: Hawaii News Now) Jess Key (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Myron Chew (Image: Hawaii News Now) Myron Chew (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Image: Hawaii News Now Image: Hawaii News Now
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hurricane Lester is pushing up surf across the state as it continues its track toward the islands.

A High Surf Warning has been issued for the east-facing shores of all islands until 6 a.m. Sunday.

"The currents are very strong," said surfer Jess Key. "So I wouldn't advise getting too close because you could get swept out. Very dangerous."

The National Weather Service says strong easterly winds combined with a building swell associated with Lester will push up surf to dangerous levels.

Surf is expected to rise to 18 feet by Friday night. By Saturday, surf will rise to 25 feet along east-facing shores. This warning-level surf will continue through the weekend.

"That kind of wave height would cause some significant issues along those east facing shores, possibly some coastal flooding and erosion," said meteorologist Chris Brenchley with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Kaaawa resident Myron Chew lives just feet away from the shore. Since the 1940's, he says his family has been forced to evacuate numerous times.

"If the house is going, it's going," he said. "I cannot do anything, it's nature, you know what I mean."

To prevent erosion on Kamehameha Highway in Kaaawa, the state Department of Transportation will be shoring up the road near Kanenelu Beach over Labor Day weekend, adding boulders along the side. This is an area that has been crumbling into the ocean for years.

Traffic will be contra-flowed in the southbound or mauka lane, so motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the area.

"We expect surges and these surges will increase at high tide," said Mark Rigg with the Emergency Services Department. "High tides are at 5:15 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. tomorrow. The tide drops during the midday." 

In Iwilei, the shops at Dole Cannery closed up early Friday.

Sand bags block the entrance and signs hang from the windows informing customers no business will be served this weekend.

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