High surf warning posted for north and east shores

A northeast swell expected to arrive tonight has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a high surf warning for the north and east facing shores of all Hawaiian Islands from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Surf on affected shorelines is expected to build rapidly late tonight and reach warning levels early Wednesday morning, building to 20 to 25 feet.

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Residents and beachgoers in these areas are advised to expect ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches, coastal benches and lava flows, creating the potential for damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways.

Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling, including Hilo Harbor.

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These dangerous conditions mean that only highly experienced persons should enter the water. Inexperienced persons should remain off beaches and adjacent beachfront areas. Large breaking surf, significant shorebreak, and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said boat owners and oceanfront residents should take action to secure their property before nightfall, and road and beach closures may occur without notice.

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