North Shore homes on the edge from erosion

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Dec 30 2013 07:20:27 AM HST
Updated On: Dec 30 2013 07:21:12 AM HST

Super sized surf has North Shore residents concerned about their houses crumbling into the ocean.

HALEIWA, Hawaii -

Excessive erosion has kept North Shore residents on edge for days.  Now it also has their homes on the edge.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes' report.

"The deck that was out in front of the house fell off Thursday night and it began undermining the foundation of the house," said Greg Quinn.

Quinn and other Rocky Point residents have been shoring up the disappearing shoreline in the hopes they could save their homes.

But, the latest super-sized surf has made that work downright dangerous.  Powerful waves wash up water filled with all kinds of construction debris.

Nearby, there was an urgent effort to deconstruct a section of a home already slumping over the edge to keep even more of the debris from falling into the ocean.

"We've been up for three nights watching it go slowly, preparing for this. About 3, 4 a.m. it went," said North Shore resident Eric Welton.

Homeowners have been helped by neighbors and others concerned about the houses crumbling into the ocean.  Some worry those efforts won't be enough and are asking for city or state assistance before it's too late.

"We need help immediately.  People are moving out.  This is a complete disaster," said North Shore resident Tandi Kowalski.  "We helped when Hurricane Sandy came.  The typhoon in the Philippines.  We can do this, but we need it immediately."

The waves have taken a lot here on the North Shore -- properties and parts of homes -- but, one thing it hasn't taken away is the sense of community among neighbors.

"All of the neighbors have been pitching in.  Filling a sand bag feels like throwing a bucket of water on a forest fire, but you throw enough buckets on a forest fire and you might slow it down," said Welton.  "That's what it feels like we are doing.  You can't fight Mother Nature."

The state does not allow homeowners to put in permanent structures, like hardened walls, to stop future erosion.  Homeowners hope the swells subside long enough to put temporary measures in place.

PHOTOS: Oahu's North Shore surf

Click here to see more photos of surf on the North Shore.


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