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Largest swell in decades hits Hawaiian shores, 40-50 foot waves roll in

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Giant waves with 40 to 50 foot faces pounded north shore beaches on Wednesday.An intense storm northwest of the Hawaiian Islands triggered the super swell, which had been rapidly building throughout the day and into the evening. The National Weather Service said around 9 a.m. Buoy 101, which measures open ocean swells northwest of the Hawaiian Islands, reported an ocean swell of 31 feet at 17 seconds. That translates to 50+ feet on the north shore around 7 p.m. North shore beaches are seeing 30 to 40 foot faces, west shores 15 to 25 feet and west shores of the Big Island 10 to 15 feet. Currently a high surf warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Friday for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, the north shore of Maui and the west shores of the Big Island of Hawaii.As of noon Wednesday, all coastal roads were open and passable. But a closure at Waimea Bay will likely extend through Thursday as Ocean Safety lifeguards reported that surf washed up onto the beach and into the parking lot and has undermined several large trees. Meanwhile, lifeguards at Makaha reported wave heights in the 12-15 foot range and that Waianae Boat Harbor is impassable at this time. Lifeguards also reported that Haleiwa Boat Harbor and Ali'i Beach Park are also closed.The wave heights are the largest we have seen in decades. \Back on Feb. 23