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UPDATE: South Swell Subsides, Old Kona Airport Park Reopened

June 4, 2013, 6:53 PM HST
* Updated June 6, 12:56 PM
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***Updated at 4:55 p.m. Wednesday, June 5.***

High surf eased up enough to allow the reopening of the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area today.

Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said county workers were monitoring the south swell that closed the park on Tuesday.

He said during this afternoon’s high tide the strong south swell had eased and water was no longer washing up onto the park’s runway as they were on Tuesday.

Oliveira described that as an unusual occurrence, especially since no other areas were seeing such high wave action.

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“It must have had something to do with the exact direction of the swells,” he said.

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While waves were occasionally washing onto the seawall along Ali`i Drive in downtown Kailua-Kona both Tuesday and today, no roads needed to be closed, Oliveira said.

However, the National Weather Service extended a high-surf advisory to 6 p.m. Thursday for south-facing shores of all islands.

Waves of up to 14 feet were expected in some areas, but were expected to drop to six to nine feet by Thursday, the weather service said.

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Posted at 6:53 p.m. Tuesday, June 4:

The Civil Defense Agency ordered the closing of a Kona park today after parts of it were flooded by high waves.

Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said waves were reaching the runway at the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area in Kailua-Kona.

Oliveira said that was the first time he could recall that happening.

An offshore reef usually keeps waves from reaching even the low sand dunes located between the runway and the shore.

This modified Google Maps image shows the location of the Kona park closed by high waves (Click to enlarge).

This modified Google Maps image shows the location of the Kona park closed by high waves (Click to enlarge).

The National Weather Service said a high-surf advisory would remain in effect for south-facing shores of all islands until at least 6 a.m. Thursday.

Surf up to eight feet in height was expected tonight with waves up to 10 feet overnight and into Wednesday.

The south swell was also expected to create moderate to strong surges in harbors with southern exposures, the weather service said.

A swell generated by gusty trade winds is also expected to produce rough waters along east-facing shores through the week.

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