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Rock Slide Hazards force closure to parts of Haleakala

Posted January 12, 2011, 05:11 PM HST Updated January 29, 2011, 02:41 AM HST
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Posted by Wendy Osher

Rock slides and ongoing severe weather conditions forced staff to close access to portions of the Haleakala National Park.

Haleakala Visitor Center. File Photo.

Haleakala National Park. MauiNOW file Photo.

A large boulder collapsed early this morning, blocking Crater Road just beyond mile marker 15. Sunrise visitors to the summit were temporarily stuck on the mauka side of the closure until crews were able to clear the debris at 8:30 a.m. Traffic was monitored through the area, but the road closed again due to additional geologic instability and the high rock slide hazard at the same location.

“The conditions in the park pose unacceptable risks to visitors and park staff. Public and park staff safety is our primary concern under these conditions,” Said Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

All visitor traffic (including commercial use traffic) is being stopped at the Headquarters Visitors Center until further notice.

Campers at the Hosmer Grove campground were encouraged to voluntarily evacuate in response to local flood warnings in adjacent streams and storm drain swales.

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The backcountry of the park is temporarily closed as well due to severe weather reported by park staff working in the summit valley. Multiple trails and the park’s popular backcountry cabins are affected by the temporary closure.

Additional Park Closures:

Today the County of Maui Closed: The Waiehu Golf Course and Keokea Park in Kula.

Yesterday, the State of Hawaii Closed: access to the Kula Forest Reserve and the Polipoli Springs Park.

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