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Storm could bring monster waves to hard-hit Hawaii island

  • STAR-ADVERTISER
    Storm surf generated by Hurricane Iselle slammed the Hilo coastline on Aug. 7.
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Tropical Storm Ana could pound low-lying parts of Hawaii island with 25- to 40-foot waves beginning Friday.

The area that Ana’s expected to hit from Kumukahi — about 25 miles southeast of Hilo — to Kapoho in the Puna district — saw several homes knocked from their foundations when Tropical Storm Iselle blew across Hawaii island on Aug. 8, said Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County’s Civil Defense administrator. 

Many homes in the area are at — or below — sea level and are not used to being struck by monster waves, Oliveira said.

He did not immediately have an estimate for the number of people or homes in the area.

So Civil Defense officials will aggressively go door-to-door to warn residents about storm surge and other dangers related to Ana.

Despite all of the attention paid to Iselle and now Ana, Oliveira speculated that many residents remain unaware of the threat.

"With Iselle, we went to Kapoho the day after and some of the people I came in contact with didn’t even know the system was coming through," Oliveira said.

Some of the homes that were damaged or destroyed by Iselle were two streets back from the coastline, Oliveira said.

He described the area as "level-type terrain" that could be struck by "significant amounts of surf."

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