Powerful system could push waves to 60 feet, trigger ‘unprecedented’ flooding

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Feb. 8, 2019 at 7:13 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu’s North Shore could see wave heights to a staggering 60 feet Sunday amid a monster swell that forecasters warn could trigger “unprecedented” coastal flooding, the National Weather Service said.

A high surf warning has been issued for north- and west-facing shores of Oahu through 6 a.m. Monday.

The swell is being caused by a powerful low pressure system moving toward the islands.

Forecasters said “giant, disorganized waves” could bring the threat of flooding Saturday night through Sunday on north- and west-facing shores.

Extreme harbor surges are also possible.

Along with the big waves, forecasters say the “potent” low pressure system barreling toward the state will also bring the threat of strong winds, which could cause damage in some communities.

The system could bring north-northwest winds with sustained speeds of up to 25 to 30 miles per hour, with localized gusts near 60 miles per hour. The strongest winds are expected late Saturday into Sunday.

[Read more: Forecast: Waves, winds to being building to dangerous levels]

[Read more: ‘Potent’ storm system to bring dangerously high surf, strong winds to islands]

Meanwhile, forecasters said the swell is expected to bring wave heights of 20 to 30 feet on Friday, 25 to 35 feet Saturday and 40 to 60 feet Sunday along exposed north-facing shores of Oahu, Maui and Kauai.

“Expect ocean water surging and sweeping over beaches, coastal benches, lava flows, and roadways, creating the potential for significant damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways,” the National Weather Service said. “Coastal evacuations and road closures are possible.”

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