Oahu’s North Shore is known for its monster-size waves. But officials with the Department of Land and Natural Resources believe it’s the swell direction, and not the size of the surf, that’s causing severe erosion to beachfront homes.
"Too much north swell and not enough large west swell to bring the sand back and fill in this puka, which would essentially solve the erosion problem,” said Sam Lemmo, administrator of DLNR's Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands.
Currently, six to eight shoreline homes between Rocky Point and Sunset Beach are threatened by the erosion, which Lemmo called “unprecedented.”
A house belonging to professional surfer Fred Patachhia Jr. appears to be suffering the brunt of Mother Nature’s battering ram.
On Sunday, a pool that had been filled in several years ago gave way, and half of it fell onto the beach below.
On Monday, Lemmo and a geologist with the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant College Program surveyed the area and spoke with some of the homeowners.
Although swell direction is the likely culprit of the erosion, some longtime Sunset Beach residents believe the city’s annual bulldozing of sand may have exacerbated the problem.