Big waves hit Hawaiian Islands’ north shores, California

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Big Waves Hit Hawaiian Islands’ North Shores, California.

HONOLULU — The north shores of all the Hawaiian Islands were under a high surf warning on Wednesday, with forecasters expecting 25- to 30-foot waves to mark the start of Hawaii’s big-wave season. The swells hitting Hawaii and California were probably connected to the same low-pressure weather system in the Pacific Ocean, said Derek Wroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Chris Pierce of Seal Beach’s Marine Safety Department said as of 10 a.m. there was no flooding along the beach or in adjacent parking lots, businesses and homes. Coincidentally, work begun Monday to construct a sand berm about 10 to 15 feet tall and half mile long on the beach from Main Street to Dolphin Street in anticipation of high tide during winter months. “We are in good shape,” Pierce said. “With the heavy equipment and work we have done, it will take care of any issues that may occur from this event.” A coastal flood advisory is in effect along various beaches, authorities said, with Orange County’s advisory in effect until 9 p.m. Wroe warned spectators to keep away from the waves because what seems safe could become deadly in a short time. “There’s a whole host of dangers that come with these waves,” he said.

On Oahu, a man believed to be in his 50s died Tuesday when he and two other fishermen were apparently swept out to sea by a large wave, the Honolulu Emergency Services Department reported. In Seal Beach, crews were building sand berms Monday night and Tuesday morning, but Seal Beach marine safety officials said they construct them yearly to prepare for the winter season.

Waves at Waimea Bay Beach Park on Oahu’s North Shore reached 25 feet Tuesday, but the peaks were declining by Wednesday afternoon, said Kerry Atwood, senior lifeguard at the park. They rescued three body surfers from the water earlier in the week, he said. “It felt like my neck was about to break,” Tesche said. “I just did a couple of flips in the water, swallowed a little bit of water. It was a scary experience.” In California, there have been no reports so far of coastal flooding as high tides and a swell from a Pacific storm produced big surf along the central and Southern California coast. The waves in Hawaii were expected to gradually decline throughout Wednesday, but another big swell was expected to build Thursday night and into Friday, Wroe said. A gale watch was in effect through Thursday night off the Channel Islands northwest of Los Angeles, with high wind gusts and 10- to 13-foot seas at times.

Seal Beach, which is prone to shoreline flooding, continued the weekslong process of building giant sand berms that protect beachfront property from winter storms. The berms were going up several weeks early because of the potential for El Nino-spawned storms, not this week’s event, said Joe Bailey, the city’s marine safety chief.

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