March tsunami overpowered Haleiwa floating docks

HALEIWA—The tsunami caused by the devastating earthquake that struck Japan hit Oahu’s North Shore at approximately 3:30 a.m. on March 11. According to Paul Sensano, harbormaster of the Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor, no boats were destroyed and no lives were lost.

“One third of our floating docks were damaged,” Sensano told the North Shore News (NSN) last week.

Sensano said the damage was caused by an estimated “four-foot-plus series of surges that came into the harbor over a period of about two hours.” The docks are designed to float up and down during large surf that is common during the winter months, but the tsunami surge “took the agility of the floating docks to a critical level.”

Engineers are currently assessing the cost of the repairs for the docks, which reportedly rose and dropped more than four feet quickly as the surge of water entered and left the harbor.

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