HONOLULU (KHON2) — High surf across the state affected areas of Maui and Oahu on Wednesday.
Department of Transportation crews were called to move barriers off Kamehameha Highway, near the Banzai Skatepark after high surf moved them into traffic. A road worker was injured in the incident. He was treated for lacerations and transported by EMS in stable condition.
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Courtesy Nikki Schenfeld
Maui County closed Kuau Bay Beach Park after a large swell from high surf flooded the parking lot Wednesday morning.
The gates to Baldwin Beach and Ho’okipa Beach Parks were locked Tuesday due to the high surf and the County tweeted that they would remain locked Wednesday.
The National Weather Service is calling the event the biggest swell of the season. The swell kept everyone busy from surfers and Ocean Safety to medical personnel.
“We could also see some coastal erosion just due to like the, the nature of overlapping strong waves hitting the shore. And additionally, potentially, some of that run up onto some of those more vulnerable low lying areas along the North Shore,” said NWS Emergency Response Meteorologist, Leigh Ann Eaton.
Though it’s still a no-go for The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, that didn’t stop the pros from checking out the conditions at Waimea Bay.
“It’s been an awesome day so far, a little stormy but just now the biggest set of the day came in so I’m getting my gear ready and getting back out there,” said professional surfer, Landon McNamara.
Eddie invitees agree that it was the right call to cancel the contest.
“It wasn’t consistent enough, there’s definitely some size just not consistent enough for a contest so, awesome call but nonetheless perfect practice,” said professional surfer, Makua Rothman.
Hundreds of visitors and kama’aina lined up at Waimea Bay to watch the best big wave surfers take on the swell.
“We were keeping tabs on if the Eddie was going to run or not. It’s unfortunate we’re going to miss it but seeing these waves and surges it’s unreal,” said John Skene, a visitor from Canada.
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Officials said the high surf warning will peak Wednesday before slowly dropping off Thursday but remind spectators to leave it to the professionals to get in the water.
“Be careful. Don’t turn your back to the ocean and when you’re watching the ocean have respect and go ask one of your city and county lifeguards. They’re here to help you folks out and really pay attention when the waves are like this because in an instant it can take you away,” said Rothman.