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North shore surf expected to hit 40 to 50 feet

The largest northwest swell of the season is expected to peak today, bringing waves of 40 to 50 feet with occasional high sets and forcing the closure of some county beach parks.

The National Weather Service issued a high surf warning for Maui and Molokai until 6 a.m. Sunday, predicting the surf to rapidly build to 40 to 50 feet Friday night and today along north-facing shores of both islands, with waves of 25 to 35 feet Friday night and today along west-facing shores of Molokai.

The combination of giant surf and tides will likely cause waves to wash over lower roadways that are close to the shoreline and may impact coastal properties and infrastructure, the weather service warned. Large, breaking surf with significant shorebreak and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous.

Because of the high surf, Maui County announced that it would close Baldwin and Hookipa beach parks today through Monday at the Maui Fire Department’s recommendation.

For questions, contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 270-7230 or parks.dept@co.maui.hi.us.

Also on Friday, the state Department of Health issued a high bacteria count advisory for Cove Park in Kihei after enterococci levels of 150 per 100 mL were detected during routine beach monitoring. The department warned that swimming at beaches with pollution in the water can make people sick, especially children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

The advisory will remain in effect until water sample results no longer exceed the threshold level of 130 enterococci per 100 mL.

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