High surf damages historical sites along Big Island’s Kona coast

Local News

The National Park Service is continuing to assess damage caused by last week’s high surf, especially on the Kona coast of the Big Island.

While Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park is open, several areas that were flooded and sustained damage remain closed, including the picnic area, royal grounds and a coastal trail.

“It is probably the worse we’ve seen in maybe 10 or 15 years. As far as scale of damage to the built landscape, it’s a bit worse than the 2011 tsunami,” said Adam Johnson, the park’s chief of integrated resources management and archaeologist.

Park officials are working to repair and reopen areas as quickly as possible, and ask that visitors understand and respect the closures.

“We have had instances of people walking into the park despite signs being up,” Johnson said. “It really kind of provides an added stress on park staff who are trying to clean up areas to have to deal with visitors not paying attention.”

There’s still no estimate on how much repairs would cost, or if everything is repairable.

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