Tag Archives: Kaaawa

Are rusted metal drums another reminder of Kaaawa’s military past?

Erosion along the beach in Kaaawa in recent months has exposed a bit of history.

At some point, it appears, large metal storage drums were filled with rocks and sand, then place along the beach at the side of the road. It appears they were intended to prevent further erosion and protect the roadway. These are located right at the edge of Kamehameha Highway near the corner of Puakenikeni Road.

In this stretch, the heavily-rusted tops of about eight of them are now visible in one spot, and several others in another.

In later years, the large rocks that show in the photo were dumped along the highway, covering most of the metal drums. In a few spots, though, they have been covered with sand for years and only recently exposed when the sand was washed away.

I’m guessing these date back as far as WWII, when Kaaawa was the site of the U.S. Army’s Camp Kaaawa, formally the Kaaawa Military Reservation. Thousands of GIs were housed here while undergoing training at the Jungle Warfare Center in Kahana. There are other remnants of that era, including remains of a pipeline out into the ocean near the corner of Polinalina Road. An archival photo from that era is at the bottom.

Any other information would be appreciated!

Click on any photo to see a larger version.

Along Kamehameha Highway

Kaaawa, Hawaii

Along the highway

Kaaawa Military Reservation

Dogs of April: Part 2

Alvie & PoAlvie and Po used to live next door to us, but now are several blocks away. We sometimes go weeks without seeing them, but managed to connect a couple of times in the last week or so.

Alvie is a Shih Tzu with papers. Po is, well, Po. Both are extremely cute.

And they are here to introduce Part 2 of the April Dogs photo gallery, as promised.

–> Click here to see the rest of the dogs of April.

Presidents’ Day Dogs

Kaaawa caninesTime for the dogs!

And what a pack of dogs we had today on our early walk down to the beach and back.

Buddy and Scarlet, who welcome you to today’s Kaaawa canine photos, live just a block or so from our house, and we see them every morning as we’re on the way home. They are so cute! Buddy twirls in excitement, Scarlet just wants to snuggle. Both are very happy to get treats.

But they are going to be sad to learn that the Yummy Chummies are dead. These are little nuggets made from salmon. They smell and most dogs love them. A friend gave us a big bag, but we were so stingy in offering them up that the last 20% or so has turned into a powdery mess in the bottom of the bag and are going to get thrown away. Too bad! Scarlet and Buddy just LOVE these little things.

–> See all of today’s Kaaawa Morning Dogs!

Thinking about a tsunami hitting Kaaawa

Wondering what a tsunami could do to our coast?

After the recent tsunami alert, I went looking for some history.

It didn’t take long to find a couple of photos.

The top photo shows a tsunami washing ashore on Laie Point in 1957 following an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands.

Laie Pt

[credit: NOAA/NGDC/Henry Helbush]

The second photo was taken right here in Kaaawa. It shows damage to Kamehameha Highway from the April 1, 1946 tsunami that devastated Hilo. It appears to be the stretch of highway between what is now Polinalina Road and Puakenikeni Road.

Road damage
[credit: NOAA/NGDC Natural Hazards Photo Archive/Orville T. Magoon]

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Kaaawa experience a 7 foot wave during the 1946 tsunami, while nearby in Punaluu it was 12 feet, and in Kahuku 27 feet.

The USGS commentary below will have to be amended following the damage from the tsunami of March 11-12, but the main point is still well taken. We’re overdue for a damaging tsunami along our windward coast.

Between 1945 and 1975, a total of 7 large tsunamis hit the Hawaiian Islands, or one every 3.3 yr, and a damaging tsunami hit Oahu every 6 yr. However, since 1976 not one large tsunami has been recorded in all of Hawaii (1986 and 1994 had 2 small events that were less than 3 ft). The historical record suggests that a damaging tsunami is overdue to reach Oahu’s shores. Ironically, it has been during this last 20 years that development within the Hawaiian coastal zone has proliferated.

If wave runups like those of the 1957 or 1960 tsunamis occurred today, there exists a high probability that low-lying coastal areas such as Waikiki, Waimanalo, Kaaawa, Punaluu, and Nanakuli would suffer damage, primarily because of the risk that has been taken by developing within these inundation zones.

“The source of the photographs is the COMET® Website at http://meted.ucar.edu/ of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), sponsored in part through cooperative agreement(s) with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). ©1997-2010 University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. All Rights Reserved.”