Saturday | October 22, 2016
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Oahu North Shore homes eaten away by high surf

Associated Press

HALEIWA, Oahu — Owners of a half-dozen homes in the Rocky Point area of Oahu’s North Shore are trying to save their properties as high surf erodes the beach fronting their homes.

Waves washed away the sandy plateau supporting Alice Lunt’s deck, causing it to collapse into the ocean, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

“The deck was right there,” said landscaping contractor Greg Culver, who came to help friends cope with the erosion. “And right there was where we had just barbecued.”

Lunt said she has lost considerable income from not being able to rent her property during the North Shore’s peak winter season and she doesn’t want to think about what she had already spent trying to protect the property over the past four days.

But her bigger concern is the possibility the home she has owned for about 26 years could tumble into the sea.

Nearby, other residents have been deconstructing a section of a home to keep even more of it from falling into the ocean, KITV reported.

“We’ve been up for three nights watching it go slowly, preparing for this. About 3, 4 a.m., it went,” said North Shore resident Eric Welton.

Dozens of volunteers filled and hauled sandbags to help fortify Rocky Point homes against the waves. One volunteer used a loader to drop large boulders off the precipice of the properties and onto the beach.

“All of the neighbors have been pitching in. Filling a sand bag feels like throwing a bucket of water on a forest fire, but you throw enough buckets on a forest fire and you might slow it down,” Welton said. “That’s what it feels like we are doing. You can’t fight Mother Nature.”

The state does not allow homeowners to put in permanent structures, like hardened walls, to stop future erosion. Homeowners hope the swells subside long enough to put temporary measures in place.

A high-surf warning remained in effect for the north and west shores of Oahu, Kauai, Niihau and Molokai and the north shores of Maui through Monday evening.


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