A number of oceanfront homes along Sunset Beach are at risk of being washed into the ocean following high surf this week on Oahu’s North Shore.

The heavy debris from decks and homes that has already been washed away is posing a serious danger to swimmers and surfers, according to Sam Lemmo, head of the Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, who visited the area on Friday to assess the damage. The office is advising people to stay out of the water.

“There’s debris all over the beaches. The debris is from people’s property, decks that have fallen in, trees, rocks, concrete. And it’s getting washed and reworked in the surf and redeposited on the beach,” he told Civil Beat. “So I’m extremely concerned about public safety right now — people walking on the beach, people in the water. It’s a very, very, very bad situation. I’m also concerned about people staying in their homes that are on the verge of complete failure.”

Waves were relatively calm Friday for the North Shore, but another swell is expected this weekend adding to the danger. 

In October, a handful of homes along Sunset Beach faced the same problem, but were spared with changing wave and erosion conditions. Homeowners were also permitted to push sand up toward their homes.

Lemmo said that the latest situation for Sunset Beach homes appears even worse.

You can watch video of the erosion on KITV.


Photo: A deck falling into the ocean at Sunset Beach (Screenshot, KITV)

— Sophie Cocke