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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 21, 2014

Contact: John M Cummings III, Public Information Officer - 808-723-8938

 

Hazardous Oahu high surf expected tomorrow thru Friday

Honolulu — The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning effective midnight tonight thru 6:00 a.m. Friday.  The largest swells of this event are expected to arrive tomorrow mid-morning with 40-50 foot wave heights on the North Shore and 20-30 foot on Leeward coast areas.

“The National Weather Service has told us that this is a once in a ten-year period high surf event.  What increases the hazard is the forecasted wave heights in combination with the long duration these swells will be impacting our shorelines.” said Melvin Kaku, director for the Department of Emergency Management.  “The long duration means that ocean waters will pile up in the surf zone allowing the larger waves to impact further into beach areas. This battering effect can cause increased shoreline erosion and damage to homes and infrastructure as well as blocking coastal highways with sand, debris and water.” said Kaku.

The department will be conducting a meeting with city administration, first responders, and city departments as well as the American Red Cross to coordinate emergency response activities.  In addition Emergency Management Reserve Corps Volunteers will be alerting residents as well as homeless families along affected shorelines later this afternoon.  Homeless service providers active on the Leeward and North Shore have also been notified.

Residents and visitors transiting along coastal roads and highways should be careful of sand and seawater that may wash across the road.  All beachgoers along affected shorelines need to exercise extreme caution, do not enter the water or go near the ocean and heed all warnings from Ocean Safety Lifeguards and emergency personnel.  If you have a high surf related emergency call 9-1-1 immediately.

To receive emergency information by email or cell phone text message from the Department of Emergency Management sign up for Nixle alerts at www.nixle.com/dem. 

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