Hawaii residents, tourists brave outdoors during storm advisory

Published On: Aug 08 2014 08:19:33 PM HST

Some Hawaii residents were prepared with supplies for the bad weather, but it seems they weren't prepared to stay indoors for the duration.

Click here to watch Pamela Young's report.

Hawaii State Civil Defense advisories said to stay off the roads and out of the water, but a lull in the rain tempted visitors and locals to defy the notice. Even before the worst of the downpours passed, visitors could not resist stepping onto the lip of the cliff to catch nature carving into the coast.

Directly above, hikers ascended Koko Head to experience the gale force winds at the summit.

Department of Land and Natural Resources officers were out patrolling recreational areas closed since Thursday, but they didn't have the authority to order people to stay away.

For some locals, confinement was anathema.

"From about seven this morning 'til about 12 we were at home watching the news and needed to get out the house," said Jim Martindale, a Hawaii Kai resident.

For visitors, the storm conditions were a draw.

"The waves are intense and if there's a tropical storm, they will be more intense," said J.K. Shin, a visitor from Korea.

From the blow hole to Sandy's beach, Kalanianaole Highway was packed with cars. Not one stall was available in the parking lot at the blow hole.

People had come to see the spectacular waves crashing along the eastern coastline. Some decided to jump the barriers to take pictures with an ocean backdrop. At Sandy's Beach, surfers were in the soup in a flash.

At the first sign of a rainbow Waikiki-side, families, many with small children, poured out of hotels into the water. Further out the swells called to the die-hard.

"Whenever there's a storm, there's nobody out," said surfer Connor Kennedy. "You feel totally confident. You know you're not supposed to be here."

Connor's got a little daredevil in his blood. He's related to the Kennedys of Massachusetts.

More people on the shoreline meant more trash in the bins and that was a big problem since trash pickup was cancelled for most of Friday.

Some residents brought their home garbage bag to the trash bins at Maunalua Bay. The bin is 20 feet from the water. DLNR was notified that strong gusts might push the trash into the drink, becoming a hazard to ocean life and mariners.

Threat of a $150 fine did not deter dumpers from abusing the bins.

While the state braces for Julio, officials are reminding shoreline and hiking trail visitors there's a reason for rules. Don't break them.

Officials urge the public to consider the safety of the first responders, who must brave the high winds and big surf to rescue beach-goers and hikers who run into trouble.


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