Erosion concerns heightened on Oahu’s North Shore as big-wave season begins

Erosion concerns heightened as high surf advisory in effect for Oahu's North Shore. Waves up to 16 feet expected.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 8:21 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 9:52 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A high surf advisory is in effect for several parts of the state.

On Oahu’s north and west facing shores, wave heights could reach between 12 to 16 feet, according to the National Weather Service. That energy is coming from a strong northwesterly swell.

Kauai is also under a high surf advisory for north and west facing shores.

These powerful winter swells are always a concern for homeowners along the shoreline in places like Sunset and Ehukai beaches.

Northwesterly swells, like the one expected on Wednesday and possibly into Thursday aren’t as devastating as northerly swells, which hit many parts of the shoreline head on.

The erosion issues have led some property owners to take matters into their own hands by using sand bags, illegal tarps and in some instances even concrete and rebar barriers to maintain the beach in front of their homes.

Research from the University of Hawaii Sea Grant program predicts Hawaii could see 3 feet or more of sea level rise by the end of this century — or as much as 6 feet in some worst case scenarios.