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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 9:47 a.m., Wednesday, December 26, 2001

'Dangerous' surf building on North Shore

Latest surf report

By Will Hoover
Advertiser North Shore Writer

The predicted "humongous" surf had begun to arrive at the North Shore early today, and was only expected to increase in magnitude throughout the day, according to North Shore lifeguard Pat Kelly.

"It's here, it's big, it's gnarly and it's dangerous," said Kelly, who at shortly after 8 a.m. was reporting waves in the 15- to 20-foot plus range and rising.

The shorebreak at Waimea Bay today enthralls children who were quickly moved away from the water’s edge. High, and dangerous, winter surf will be hitting the North Shore throughout the day.
Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Kelly, who works the station at Rock Piles, said beaches from Ka'ena Point to Kahuku are dangerous today.

"It's supposed to get bigger, but it's big right now. It's dangerous conditions. You can't even walk on the beach. These are probably the biggest waves we've had out here this year."

Kelly was warning people to avoid any North Shore beach that doesn't have a lifeguard post, "because they could get swept away and die on a day like this."

National weather forecaster Bob Burke said that based on the service's data, "It's likely to rise as high as 25 feet by mid-day, and by mid afternoon we may see some local sets at 30 feet."

O'ahu Civil Defense spokesman Wayne Jones said the high surf was being monitored and that no roads had been washed out and, so far at least, there was no cause for alarm.

But Kelly said another storm expected to arrive this weekend that should bring waves even more treacherous than today's.

A high-surf warning is in effect for north- and west-facing shores.

Boaters at Wai'anae Boat Harbor should be cautious of waves breaking at harbor entrances, and a north swell could cause moderate surges at harbors in Hilo, Hawai'i and Kahului, Maui, the National Weather Service said.

A small-craft advisory is in effect for building northwest swells on all islands.