Storm that walloped state was so powerful it gave the North Shore some beach back

Surf pummeled the North Shore over the weekend, including several spots that have had serious...
Surf pummeled the North Shore over the weekend, including several spots that have had serious issues with erosion. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Feb. 11, 2019 at 4:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The monster surf that lashed the North Shore over the weekend did something surprising for homeowners in Pupukea, who have seen their beach disappearing bit by bit over the years.

It actually gave them a little bit of sand.

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

In fact, residents estimate the storm brought back between one and two feet of sand to the beach.

Still, there were a number of tense moments over the weekend as waves came uncomfortably close to homes.

Storm surge flowed into some yards, flattening shrubbery and leaving behind debris.

“The water washed right up here to the base or the vertical," said Pupukea Beach homeowner Bob Schieve.

He’s lived in the home since the 1960s.

And last summer, back-to-back hurricanes produced a series of swells that swept away the sand all the way to the bedrock. “That’s eight feet below us,” Schieve said.

He estimates Sunday’s storm left behind more than a foot of sand, with more still coming in.

“If you observe even in this swell that’s breaking today, you’ll see a tinge of brown," he said. “That is actually sand in the wave still moving in.”

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has been monitoring coastal communities as erosion worsens, and feared that the weekend’s storm would leave behind a lot more damage than it actually did.

“It’s a tremendous amount of power in this ocean,” said DLNR Chairman Suzanne Case. "They are so vulnerable with this combination of storm and wind and thankfully so far not a lot of damage that we’ve seen along the shoreline.”

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