(Big Island Video News) KONA, Hawaii – High surf is expected to impact West Hawaii shores, part of a large west-northwest swell that will bring dangerously large surf to many areas. While peak surf heights will be 30 to 40 feet along north and west facing shores of Niihau and Kauai, the Big Island expects to see heights in the range of 15 to 20 feet.
7:45 p.m. | Video of Empty Hapuna Beach
- New video shows an eerily empty Hapuna Beach after the entire state park was closed on Wednesday. The footage, shot by Lynn Beittel of Visionary Video, can be seen paired with the civil defense message in the edit above.
4:15 p.m. | More Beach Closures
- Ooma, Old Airport Park, Kaunaoa (Mauna Kea Beach) and Mahukona Park are now closed due to forecasted high surf. The four beach parks join an existing list of West Hawaii beach closures, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.
- Laaloa or Magic Sands, Kahaluu Beach, Kohanaiki Beach and Hapuna Beach were closed earlier in the day.
- The entire Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area was closed at 1 p.m. (the beach was closed at noon). The DLNR Division of State Parks says people were not keeping out of the water.
12:50 p.m. | DLNR Hapuna Beach Closure
- The Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area beach area closed at noon today, reports the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks.
- Large waves are scheduled to reach Hapuna by mid-afternoon, but DLNR reports wave models show a significant ground swell system, thus the closure before the actual arrival of the waves.
- The park will remain open, but the state could close the entire park if the waves get too large or if crowd control becomes a problem. DLNR says visitors will be notified of the beach closure as they enter.
- Lapakahi State Historical Park and Kekaha Kai State Park are also being monitored by State Parks personnel to determine if any action is needed in those areas.
11:00 a.m. | West Hawaii Beach Closed
The following beaches will be closed effective 12:00 noon today due to the anticipated dangerous surf conditions, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense:
- Laaloa or Magic Sands
- Kahaluu Beach
- Kohanaiki Beach
- Hapuna Beach
7:15 a.m. | High Surf Warning Issued
- The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for the West facing shores of Hawaii Island effective through 6:00 p.m. HST tomorrow, Thursday January 22nd.
- Dangerous surf with heights of 15 to 20 feet is expected to start building today through this afternoon and remain at warning levels through Thursday.
- Boat owners are advised to secure their vessels, warns Hawaii County Civil Defense. All activities should be completed before noon today.
- Residents along the coast are advised to take precautions. Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers are advised to exercise caution and to heed all advice given by Ocean Safety Officials, civil defense says.
3:43 a.m. | National Weather Service High Surf Warning
Large breaking surf… Significant shorebreak… And dangerous currents make entering the water extremely hazardous. Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death. Inexperienced persons should remain well away from the shoreline in the affected areas. Property owners should take action to protect shoreline property. Motorists should be prepared for possible road closures… Especially along the west facing shores of the Big Island.National Weather Service on Jan. 21 at 3:43 a.m. HST
by Big Island Video News
Dangerous conditions expected to last through 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22