High surf triggers erosion concerns in North Shore residents

North Shore, Oahu


High surf drew big crowds to the North Shore Friday. The waves are also getting attention from those who live along the coastline.

Last year, the winter surf not only eroded the beach, but damaged homes near Rocky Point.

Homeowners there told KHON2 that they have done what they can to protect their homes, but they admit it may be too little, too late.

“The owners have done what they can within the law to protect their homes with sand,” said Lucky Cole, who lives near Rocky Point.

Shortly after large waves did their damage along the shoreline last winter, residents and bulldozers brought sand closer to homes to act as a berm.

But when they tried to do it again this year, there was only enough sand to protect one home.

Now, they’re calling on the state Department of Land and Natural Resources for help.

“My issue with government is that they’re telling people what they can’t do, not what they can do,” said Cole. “They’re doing nothing to facilitate, as far as I can tell, they’re doing nothing to help private landowners protect their property.”

KHON2 asked DLNR what it could do to help. According to a spokesperson, the department’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) monitors the wave situation regularly.

“OCCL staff have a good relationship with the City and we are ready to authorize movement of sand for protection of coastal homes as necessary,” said Deborah Ward, DLNR information specialist.

In Hauula, KHON2 spotted at least three holes alongside Kamehameha Highway. The road sits near the shore and the holes are just a few feet away from traffic.

Resident Lawrence Correa said the holes have been there for months, and a truck actually got stuck in one.

“His passenger side fell into the hole,” he said. “I asked him if everything was okay. He said yeah. He made a phone call and he was waiting for someone to come and give him a hand.”

KHON2 also turned to the state Department of Transportation to see if the agency knew about the problem.

“We suspect the asphalt and parts of the shoulder foundation are being eroded from below by the rising ocean waves,” said Derek Inoshita, DOT spokesman. “We are working with an environmental consultant to develop short-and-long-term repairs.”

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