UPDATE (Thursday – Mar. 22) – Hawai‘i County Parks and Recreation Department reports the following Hilo beach parks remain closed this morning: Hilo Bayfront Canoe Halau areas, Coconut Island, and all parks along Keaukaha shoreline from Reed’s Bay to Richardson’s, including Pu’u Maile. “Parks staff will conduct assessments of these areas this morning to determine when these parks can reopen,” civil defense says.
The Hawai‘i Police Department reports Bayfront Highway in Hilo remains closed in both directions from Waianuenue Avenue to Pauahi Street.
(BIVN) – Beaches along the Hilo Bayfront and in Keaukaha were closed on Wednesday, as warning-level surf continues to roll along north and east facing shores of Hawai‘i Island.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu says a large north-northeast swell arrived early today and peaked during the late morning. The swell will decline slowly through Friday, forecasters say. Wave heights of 20 to 25 feet were expected. The highest threat will coincide with the high tides, which occur at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening and at 5:45 a.m. Thursday morning, emergency officials say.
According to a Hawai‘i County Civil Defense message:
- Hawaii Police Department reports Bayfront Highway in Hilo is closed in both directions.
- Oceanfront residents and beachgoers along the affected shores are advised to be on the alert for high and dangerous surf.
- Boat owners and oceanfront residents should take action to secure their property.
- Road and beach closures may occur without notice.
The National Weather Service predicted high impacts:
Expect ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches, coastal benches, and lava flows creating the potential for impacts to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways. Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling, such as Kahului and Hilo harbors.