High tide swallows beaches, streets

High tide in Hawai’i has been unusually high in recent days, causing beaches to disappear, turning streets into lakes, and pushing the Ala Wai Canal to the brink of its banks. Star-Bulletin humor columnist Charles Memminger recently researched the bizarre situation in Mapunapuna, at the intersection of Ahua and Kilihau streets, where ocean tides at Keehi Lagoon and the storm drain system flood the area every day. Area businesses surrounding “Lake Ahua” barely blink an eye as tilapia swim past their driveways, and adjust their operations to work around flooded loading bays and countless stalled cars. KHON followed up with a report that revealed that spring tides have submerged whole stretches of popular Ala Moana beach, and brought the Ala Wai Canal’s infamous water within inches of spilling into Waikiki. Alignment between the sun and moon, coupled with higher sea levels overall, are behind the phenomenon, and scientists say it’ll happen again in early December… and may be even more pronounced then.

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