Clean-up efforts underway after huge south swell sends waves crashing into homes, businesses
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oceanfront communities around the state started clean-up efforts Sunday, a day after a huge south swell sent waves crashed into homes, businesses and roadways.
In Keauhou on Hawaii Island, huge waves pummeled a seaside housing development, sending walls of water rushing into townhomes and a nearby parking lot. In video of the scene, water could be seen crashing over the rooftops of the two-story development. Several homes reported damage.
“The current and waves got really big around 4 to 5 p.m. and didn’t calm down until around 10:45 p.m.,” said resident Isabella Sloane, whose living room was inundated by the waves.
“My condo was hit the first time and flooded everything. Condos down the way from mine were completely wiped out and damaged really badly. Thankfully, everyone is safe.”
Melanie Llanes, of Oceanview, said the parking lot at the development “was just like a river.”
“At one point, the waves were so big, everyone in the pool is kind of cheering and applauding they thought it was really cool and it was at first,” she said. “And then it got a little scary towards the end.”
Nearby, in Kona, waves crashed over a wall just before a wedding ceremony was set to begin.
Groom Dillon Murphy said the waves took out catering tables and one of the bars. Luckily, they didn’t lose any of the food — or their wedding cake.
“We didn’t think that it was ever going to get over the wall,” Murphy said.
Added bride Riley: “Definitely didn’t stop the party, we definitely kept going.”
Over on Maui, a large wave pushed through a rock wall and flooded Honu Oceanside Restaurant in Lahaina.
“Just like you’d see in a tsunami video, it just kind of just filled up the room with water and just kept pushing forward straight through the front door,” said Lisa Newman, of the eatery.
Newman said it may take a week until they reopen as their dining room floors were wiped out.
“You just never know how big it’s going to be or what it’s really going to affect,” said Newman. “We were definitely prepared with, reinforcements and things we just didn’t know what to even prepare for.”
On Kauai, county workers closed off Ho’one Road in Poipu due to road damage and runoff from the ocean.
The dangerous conditions also kept lifeguards busy.
Honolulu Ocean Safety made 1,554 rescues on the south shore alone.
Lt. James Cooper, of Honolulu Safety, said they have been doing a lot of preventive work throughout the weekend. “Basically, getting on the bullhorn letting people know what the currents are like, where the dangerous spots are,” said Cooper. “And you know we brought in extra personnel today.”
“We have six skis in the water today, we’ll be doing overtime,” he added.
Forecasters said the swell will slowly subside within the next 24 hours.
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