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High, warning-level surf hitting Hawaii’s north, west shores

A high surf warning is in place for the north and west shores of most Hawaiian isles today due to a huge swell that peaked early this morning.

The National Weather Service says dangerously large surf of 30 to 40 feet is expected along north-facing shores this morning. Surf of 25 to 35 feet is expected along west-facing shores.

The warning covers the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai; the north-facing shores of Maui; and the west-facing shores of Hawaii island, through 6 a.m. Friday.

Besides staying away from the shoreline of these coasts, the public should be prepared for road closures and postpone entering or leaving affected channels until the surf subsides.

Due to hazardous surf conditions, the National Park Service said the picnic area at Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau on Hawaii island will be closed today.

High winds, meanwhile, have subsided this morning to below 30 mph in most lower-elevation locations and will continue to ease, according to forecasters.

The high winds and gusts, some at 50 to 60 mph, wreaked havoc across the state on Wednesday, resulting in downed trees and tens of thousands of power outages.

Hawaiian Electric said today that more than 20,000 customers who experienced outages have been restored and that as of this morning, fewer than 500, mostly in the Kahuku and Kunia areas, were still without power.

Drier, cooler air is expected to move in, keeping daytime highs below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and pushing lows tonight into the low 60s and below 60 in some areas.

Strong winds continue for summits, however, keeping a wind advisory for the Haleakala summit through 6 p.m. today, and a high wind warning for Big Isle summits in place through 6 p.m. Sunday.

A small craft advisory is also in place for most Hawaiian waters and channels through 6 a.m. Friday.

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