Leeward Oahu residents, visitors see strong winds, rising surf - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Leeward Oahu residents, visitors see strong winds, rising surf

Bill Carruth Bill Carruth

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

LEEWARD OAHU (KHNL) - Beach warning signs, evacuation buses, and awe-struck tourists were among the things out there on Oahu's Leeward Coast Thursday.

In Makaha, crushing waves serve as an imposing backdrop as lifeguards hustle along the sand, advising people to stay out of the water.

"It's kind of got an undertow, according to the lifeguard," Bill Carruth, Vancouver resident, said.

For visitors to Hawaii, the powerful surf is a sight to behold.

"It's absolutely fantastic out there," Carruth said. "When the waves come in and just smash against the rocks, and I'd say they go 12 to 15 feet."

At Keaau Beach Park, civil defense officials encourage those living in tents next to the rising surf to evacuate. Two city buses are called in to provide transportation to a nearby shelter.

But many refuse to budge.

"We've been through this already and I can go through it again," Sammette Parks, beach resident, said. "They asked if we wanted to (leave), you know. I tell them no, just going to hang in it."

Lukas Haragsim of Oklahoma was looking forward to outdoor activities on his final day on Oahu. He arrives at Yokohama Bay and finds it closed due to strong winds and pounding waves.

"I was planning to go to Yokohama Bay and then walk to Kaena Point and maybe do the turn on Kaena Point and continue to Dillingham Field maybe for some gliding," he said.

"Hang gliding?" this reporter asked.

"Hang gliding," he replied with a smile.

Under these conditions?

"I knew that there was high surf. I knew that there was high wind," Haragsim said. "But I did not realize it was to the point that the beaches are completely closed."

The winds whip the caution flags posted in Maili. Gaylord Santiago doesn't see what the fuss is all about.

"I kind of disappointed at the surf," the Maili resident said. "I come over here from work. I came for surf lidat. But no sense surf, look like I gotta go back home."

Home may be a safe bet as Iwa birds take flight, signaling a storm may be approaching.

Tent dwellers who did board the evacuation buses were taken to the gymnasium at Waianae District Park.

Powered by Frankly