Erosion at a Makaha shoreline is gobbling up the beach and threatening homes

Erosion at a Makaha shoreline is gobbling up the beach and threatening homes
Updated: Sep. 4, 2018 at 7:19 PM HST
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MAKAHA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Volunteers from Henry's Equipment bulldozed sand across Makaha Beach Park Tuesday, in a desperate effort to save Kea Among's home.

"We're in dire straits. I could never afford to try to do this," said Among, whose family has lived at the home at 84-445 Farrington Highway since the 1950s.

A big south shore swell brought on by Hurricane Lane sliced off a 50-foot chunk of Makaha Beach in front of the Among family home, eating away about half of their backyard.

"What these people are doing is taking sand that should have been here to protect us and putting it back," she said.

"And hopefully they can get enough back here so when the next surge comes it doesn't eat back so much."

A satellite photo taken by Google Earth before last week shows the beach extending more than 50 feet from where it is now.

Photos taken today show how the surf has eaten away at the Among's yard, exposing rock that had been buried under sand for decades if not more.

According to Among, the property damage is much more extensive than what they experienced in 1992 and 1982 when Hurricanes Iniki and Iwa flooded their home.

Large winter swells often take out big chunks Hawaii's beaches but state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro believes the problem has gotten worse at Makaha Beach in recent years.

A recent report by the Department of Land and Natural Resources recommended that the city and stand bulldoze the sands from one end of the beach to the other before each winter to protect the shoreline, Shimabukuro said.

She hopes the city and the state will do more to maintain Hawaii's beaches and coastlines.

"It has to be an annual thing and automatic thing, where every year in preparation for winter sand gets pushed to prevent that kind of erosion," she said.

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