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From November through February, one of the most storied big-wave surfing spots on Oahu?s legendary North Shore welcomes gigantic swells. / By Douglas Peebles

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) - A Christmas swell on Oahu's North Shore damaged at least five oceanfront properties, rekindling a decades-old debate about how best Hawaii officials and homeowners should respond to beach erosion and the increasingly rising waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Some property owners want to be able to install a seawall or something similar to protect their property.

Doing so, scientists say, could lead the sand on the nearby coastline - including Sunset Beach, home to some of the world's top surfing contests - to disappear.

Getting permission to build a seawall is a long, time-consuming process. For the time being, homeowners are resorting to filling sandbags - and when they run out of burlap bags, going to a store to buy up all the pillowcases.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Fast-moving erosion threatens Hawaii coastal homes

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