Epic swells cause damage at Haleiwa Boat Harbor

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Jan 22 2014 06:18:00 PM HST

The epic swell is here. The largest waves are approaching those 50-foot heights as predicted, but they don't look that big because the wind keeps churning up the ocean. KITV4's Chief Meteorologist Justin Fujioka witnessed early flooding at Haleiwa Boat Harbor.

HALEIWA, Hawaii -

The epic swell has arrived upon Oahu’s shores. The largest waves are approaching the 50-foot heights we predicted, but the winds are clouding the height of the swells.

Click here to watch Justin Fujioka's story.

Georgie Pulman-Olzaski has called Haleiwa home for the past eight years and says this is the first time she woke up to this.

"The debris – oh my goodness. It’s quite exciting, but it’s kind of scary as well,” said Pulman-Olzaski.

Regulars and locals to Haleiwa Beach Park say they’ve never seen anything like this before in their lives.

Just before 9 a.m.Wednesday, waves were crashing into Haleiwa Beach Park and over some of the buildings there.

Conditions were less than ideal for surfing, yet there were a few brave souls in the water near Haleiwa Boat Harbor. Occasional surges flooded the harbor’s parking lot at the peak of Wednesday morning's high tide. Lance Galapia had just arrived there to snap a few photos.

"Next thing I know, my car was halfway with water. I tried to decide whether to jump in or not, but played it off and just watched the car move about a foot -- and praying that it [the water] didn’t suck it in the harbor,” said Lance Galapia.

Galapia's car was flooded, but still runs. His vehicle was one of thousands on the Oahu’s North Shore causing not only a traffic headache, but also a major parking crisis for the load of wishful onlookers.

"We came out at about 6:00 and at 6:00, the roads were already full of cars and all the regular parking lots were already full. So, we had to find a little side street and find a little place there, but it only got worse after that. It was very, very crowded," said Michael Pippin.

Honolulu police says officers cited dozens of vehicles illegally parked along Kamehameha Highway. Some were towed. Officers eventually coned off attractive areas to avoid further citations.

"People are parked everywhere and there’s just no place to go," said Michael Pippin, a visitor.

Even the parking lot at Waimea Bay was closed. Drivers could park across the street at Waimea Valley Park, but that was if they wanted to dish out ten dollars.

"Definitely coming early allowed us to have a legal place to park instead of just being stuck trying to find that we are going to get carried off,” said Pippin.

PHOTOS: Giant swell hits Hawaii

Click here to see more photos of the epic swell.

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