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Maui County officials warn of high surf along south facing shores

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Māʻalaea Harbor. (7.17.22) PC: Bryan Koppert

High surf on south-facing shores is expected to peak today at 18-24 feet, and residents and visitors are cautioned to stay away from impacted areas.

“A combination of high tides and large surf is making driving hazardous in some south shore areas, so we are asking everyone to exercise caution and avoid these areas if possible,” said Mayor Michael Victorino in a County issued press release.

A portion of South Kīhei Road from Uwapo Road to Leilani Road was closed Saturday, and it is expected to remain shut down with surf washing waves and debris onto the roadway.

  • Water washes onto the road in Kīhei (7.16.22) PC: James Campbell-Gillies via Maui Now Facebook
  • High water from south swell in Kīhei(7.16.22) PC: Gina Uriarte Jones via Maui Now Facebook
  • Flooding from south swell in Kīhei (7.16.22) PC: Ellie Erickson via Maui Now Facebook
  • Flooding from south swell in Kīhei (7.16.22) PC: Justin Allen via Maui Now Facebook
  • Water washes onto the road in Kīhei (7.16.22) PC: Ellie Erickson via Maui Now Facebook
  • Water washes onto the road in Kīhei (7.16.22) PC: Mike Martinez via Maui Now Facebook

Maui Emergency Management Agency officials are also concerned about high surf impacts onto Honoapiʻilani Highway in low-lying areas from Papalaua Beach to the area popularly called “Cut Mountain.”

A high-surf warning remains in effect today through Monday for the south-facing shores of all Hawaiian Islands.

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The National Weather Service reports that a large south swell is expected to peak today, then slowly subside Monday through much of next week.

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This swell will continue to produce warning level surf into Monday. This warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Monday.

Forecasters also report that surf heights can vary significantly from beach to beach along a coastline. Surf larger than the upper end of the range provided in the forecast will occur periodically, sometimes up to a few hours apart.

Beachgoers can expect to encounter rip currents in or near the surf zone, with rip current strength increasing with surf size.

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