Dangerous, potentially damaging surf reaches the islands

The National Weather Service reports that the high surf warning for the shores of Kohala, Kona and Kau on Hawaii Island remains in effect through Saturday.

Due to impacts from the high surf, the following beaches are closed: Mahukona Beach Park, Laaloa Beach Park, Kahaluu Beach Park and Hapuna Beach Park.

A high surf advisory is now in effect through 6 a.m. Sunday for north and west facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and north facing shores of Maui.

Surf along north and west facing shores of Niihau and Kauai, and north facing shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui, is 14 to 18 feet. It’s 10 to 15 feet along west facing shores of Oahu and Molokai, and 6 to 10 feet along west facing shores of Hawaii Island.

Expect the surf to occasionally sweep across portions of beaches, with very strong breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors, making navigating the harbor channel dangerous.

Stay well away from the shoreline along the affected coasts. Heed all advice given by Ocean Safety officials and exercise caution. Be prepared for wave splashing on to some coastal roads.

High surf will continue to lower through the weekend and drop below advisory by Sunday morning, but remain at moderate levels.

Organizers of the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout at Pipeline say conditions were perfect on Oahu’s North Shore.

However, Terry Ahue, Hawaiian Water Patrol warned, “visitors here, I would suggest you guys on the North Shore, I suggest you stay out of the water and talk to the lifeguards. Today is not a good day for swimming or doing any kind of water activity unless you’re experienced.”

Forecasters say a large west-northwest swell arrived Thursday night from a more westerly direction, which is why the second warning was issued.

High surf can be dangerous and damaging. Two years ago, big, powerful waves destroyed a wooden dock at Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor.

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