The National Weather Service said Saturday that a deepening low-pressure system approaching the Hawaiian Islands from the north is expected to produce giant waves and could cause “unprecedented coastal flooding” to north- and west-facing shores through today.
“Expect very large breaking waves near harbor entrances. These hazardous conditions will develop before sunrise Sunday morning on Kauai,” NWS said.
The county issued a press release that said “those in areas prone to coastal flooding or erosion, particularly along the North Shore, should strongly consider evacuating their homes.”
Volunteers with the American Red Cross opened a holding center at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center Saturday night.
“County, state and federal partners continue to monitor this system and are preparing to respond to all emergencies, as necessary,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “Damaging winds and surf could result in property damage, power outages and hazardous driving conditions.”
A high-surf warning and a high-wind warning are in effect until Monday morning. Surf could reach 60 feet today around Kauai. Winds are expected to be 20 to 30 mph, with gusts reaching 60 mph. Power outages are possible if winds topple trees and power lines.
“So anyone with vulnerable oceanfront property needs to complete their preparations for this event as soon as possible,” NWS reported.
NWS said the impacts of the storm could be “extreme.”
“Expect ocean water surging and sweeping over beaches, coastal benches, lava flows and roadways, creating the potential for significant damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways,” NWS reported. “Coastal evacuations and road closures are possible. Large breaking waves may affect harbor entrances and channels with significant damage possible to docks, piers, ramps and boats.”
People are urged to stay out of the water.
“These dangerous conditions mean that only highly experienced persons should enter the water. Inexperienced persons should remain off beaches and adjacent beachfront areas,” according to NWS. “Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death.”
The county has closed all north- and west-facing beach parks, from Kekaha to Anahola, until further notice.