'Alarmingly high' king tides prove a spectacle in Waikiki, Ala Moana

Saturday's King Tides not a record, but still high
Updated: Jun. 24, 2017 at 11:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Several coastal areas were inundated with water Saturday as this month's round of king tides reach close to record levels.

Saturday afternoon's high tide at Honolulu Harbor was just a little over 3.1 feet, according to preliminary data from NOAA. That was a little below Friday's high tide of 3.158 feet, which is enough to qualify as a new all-time high.

At Ala Moana Regional Park, waves washed all the way to the beach wall in some spots. The tide alone was enough to draw people who just wanted to take a look.

"Never seen this before," said Kakaako resident Elmer Nakao. "I used to come a lot here when I was a kid, and I actually swim a lot here, and I thought it would be interesting just to come and see it."

A group of beachgoers had staked out a spot on the sand, and build a small wall to try to keep the tide out. The wall was no match for the incoming waves when the tide peaked just before 5 p.m.

"Well, the waves came in and pretty much destroyed the wall that I built," said Dorian Tanginoa. "I was trying my hardest, but I guess I failed."

The ocean also made its way into the parking lot and roadway behind La Mariana Restaurant on Sand Island, where a homemade sign warned of the incoming tide. And once again, Mapunapuna was inundated, disrupting business at places like the U-Haul lot on Kilihau Street.

"Our trucks going through the water, it's not good for the brakes," said U-Haul customer service representative David Leonard. "It's ocean water. It's salt water."

"I think some of the places that are not so shore-adjacent are still seeing some real significant impacts," said Matt Gonser of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College program.

Researchers are concerned that this round of high tides has actually come in even higher than last month's tides, which were supposed to be the highest of the year.

"Even though the energy along the shore wasn't quite as captivating as perhaps it was last month, just the height of the water is still quite alarming," said Gonser.

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