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City crews remove debris from homes threatened by surf

By Timothy Hurley

LAST UPDATED: 04:49 p.m. HST, Jan 02, 2014

City workers and volunteers hauled away truckloads of debris today from a stretch of Sunset Beach where high surf and tides put at least a half-dozen Rocky Point homes in danger of being washed away.

Aided by a bulldozer and a dump truck, workers with the city departments of Emergency Management, Facility Maintenance and Parks and Recreation removed eight to ten pickup truckloads of debris, moved at least two felled palm trees and removed various sections of fallen utility poles.

"Our focus has been on making the beach safe for use," said Peter Hirai, the city's deputy director of emergency management. "But we're still telling people to be cautious. There may be hazardous debris on the beach."

Yesterday's cleanup was timed to correspond with a forecasted lull in the swells. Surf along north-facing shores was expected to rise from today's 3- to 5-foot swells to 10- to 14-foot swells Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Pushed by a series of swells out of the north and northwest, the surf on the North Shore is forecasted to remain high through at least early Tuesday.

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CriticalReader wrote:
Is all this "debris" doing damage to the shoreline or reefs? Seems like that's always a question when a boat gets grounded, or some other conduct (like Pfleuger's illegal grading) ends up with stuff from land impacting on the reef. If it is the responsibility of these homeowners to avoid doing that kind of damage, then at a certain point, aren't they liable for any damage caused by debris from their property. Maybe at first they couldn't anticipate a problem, but over the past month and a half, they certainly could. Isn't it time for them to do what's necessary in order to avoid damage to the reefs? Shouldn't they be focusing their resources and energies on REMOVING potential debris from the water's edge and moving it inland or into storage? Sounds harsh, but all the reports seem to indicate that the efforts are to save the homes and the usable property (a narrow self interest), when they might be obligated to remove their structures and possession in order to prevent damage, or at the very least, to prevent taxpayer money from being spent to clean up). I suppose they are free to choose to try and save their homes. BUT, to the extent that ends up leading to debris in the water, shouldn't there be consequences for that choice?
on January 2,2014 | 04:21PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Could the debris help as sand barriers? With more high surf forecast, the shoreline is now clear to allow for the full force of the surf to impinge upon the homes.
on January 2,2014 | 05:09PM
SueH wrote:
Since the City is removing the debris that washes up on the beach free of charge from these homeowner's homes, I have an old couch and lumber from a demolition job I need to get rid of. Maybe I should just dump it all on the beach near the eroded area and expect the City to remove that for free, too.
on January 2,2014 | 05:31PM
SueH wrote:
Since the City is removing debris that washes up on the beach from northshore residents' homes free of charge, I have an old couch and some lumber from a demolition job I need to get rid of. Maybe I should just dump it all on beach so the City can haul it away for free, too. Why aren't the homeowners picking up their own mess???
on January 2,2014 | 05:44PM
nitpikker wrote:
while i am not gloating over these beach-front owners misfortune, i also do not feel much sympathy for them. i'm sure during better times these owners play lords-of-the beach and consider their beach frontage as their personal property, down to the waterline.
on January 2,2014 | 07:58PM
engineersoldier wrote:
Is this authorized use of our tax dollars? What I saw on TV was a dozer pushing a sand berm in a futile attempt to protect a home.
on January 2,2014 | 09:22PM
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