Some east-facing Hawaii Island beaches close as Guillermo passes

Onekahakaha Beach


Click here for the latest information on closures and cancellations due to Guillermo.

Hawaii Island continues to see effects from Guillermo.

On Wednesday morning, east-facing beaches (Onekahakaha, Kealoha, Richardson and Leleiwi) were closed due to high surf and surge, with some reports of 10- to over 20-foot faces.

Officials say those beaches will likely reopen Thursday.

One beach that wasn’t closed was Pohoiki, despite reported 20-foot sets Wednesday morning. Ocean safety was on hand to monitor the conditions.

“There is a lot of warning to get away from the ocean if it’s really dangerous, but right now it’s pretty mellow,” said beach goer Claire Napeahi.

One rescue was made at Honolii Beach Park in Hilo.

“The other beaches are more frequented by tourists or non-residents, so we feel that it was safer for the community if we could just keep those beaches closed,” said Hawaii Fire Department battalion chief Gerald Kosaki.

There was some rain in Hilo and Pahoa, but nothing major.

Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator Darryl Oliveira said officials will continue to monitor the storm through Wednesday night, but notes that Hawaii Island dodged a bullet, at least for now.

On Tuesday, officials said they were not planning to open hurricane or emergency shelters, because wind was not expected to be a major factor.

“We’re having some rain periodically. Some areas have been somewhat long duration and we just don’t know how saturated the ground is. It’s not going to take a lot in some areas to cause flooding,” Oliveira said.

“We’re also making sure that the equipment and the apparatuses in vehicles are all fueled up and operating properly, the generators are working okay,” Kosaki said.

At Hilo International Airport, crews trimmed trees in preparation of the storm.

The state Department of Transportation also ensured work sites and equipment were secured and drains were cleared.

Backcountry areas in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are closed until it’s safe to reopen them.

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