Northwest swell expected to bring high surf, coastal flooding

The Maui News

A high-surf warning is in effect from noon today through 6 p.m. Thursday for north-facing shores of Maui and north- and west-facing shores of Molokai.

Surf heights of 30 to 40 feet are expected along north-facing shores of both islands, with waves of 20 to 30 feet along west-facing shores of Molokai, according to the National Weather Service.

Impacts may include ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors, making it dangerous to navigate the harbor channel.

The weather service warned that anyone entering the water under these hazardous conditions could face significant injury or death.

Coastal flooding is also expected. The most likely time that water could reach coastal roadways and property is early Wednesday morning as the swell and high tide coincide, the weather service said.

Significant beach erosion with water reaching vulnerable low-lying coastal roadways is possible. Large surges in exposed harbors may generate currents strong enough to damage infrastructure due to the jostling of boats and docks. Very large breaking waves are also expected near harbor entrances.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health on Monday canceled a brown-water advisory for Maui’s north shore from Hookipa to Waihee. The initial advisory was issued Nov. 24 after heavy rain caused stormwater runoff in coastal waters.


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