Several East Maui Parks Closed; Shelter Preparations Made 8/9/09

August 9, 2009, 6:40 PM HST · Updated December 27, 8:34 PM
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(Updated at 6:25 p.m. HST Sun August 9, 2009)

The County of Maui closed several east facing parks this afternoon. At 4 p.m., the parks department closed Honomanu, Keanae, and the Kipahulu Point Light Station.

File photo of Honomanu courtesy County of Maui.

File photo of Honomanu courtesy County of Maui.

County officials say additional closures may be needed, pending developing weather conditions.

Other closures include:

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All County campgrounds will be closed by noon Monday: Kanaha and Papalaua on Maui, and One Alii and Papohaku on Molokai.

All County-sponsored recreation programs will be canceled for Monday afternoon and evening.

Swimming pools will be closed by noon Monday; Waiehu Golf Course may close pending weather conditions.

Other County parks will be assessed for closure on Monday, based on public safety concerns from flooding, high surf, winds, falling trees and branches. Closures may also need to be extended to clean up debris and make safety assessments after storm conditions have passed.

County personnel are continuing preparations for the storm, and are conducting daily briefings with dozens of representatives from state, federal and private agencies, as well as with Goodfellow Brothers, which has coordinated with the County to pre-position equipment around the island should their assistance be needed.

“I appreciate the efforts of the many organizations that have collaborated with us to make storm preparations,” said Mayor Charmaine Tavares.

“My Administration has been taking the threat of this storm seriously – we have three islands to look out for and many areas that are very remote. We’re prepared for the worst, but if the storm passes with minimal impact to our county we can breathe a sigh of relief and congratulate ourselves for having done a good job of getting prepared. Maui County has had its share of severe weather, so we’ve learned from experience that it’s always best to be ready,” said Tavares.

As of this afternoon the Department of Education (DOE) has not made a final decision about any possible school closures. Pending final approval from DOE, the following is a list of shelter locations that have been identified for use as emergency evacuation shelters beginning 4 p.m. Monday:

MAUI:
Baldwin High School Gym (designated for pets and special needs individuals)
War Memorial Gym
Lahaina Civic Center
Eddie Tam Gym
Haiku Community Center
Kihei Community Center (designated for pets and special needs individuals)
Hana School Gym

MOLOKAI:
Molokai High School Gym
Kilohana School

LANAI:
Lanai High School Gym

Other important considerations for those relocating to a shelter:

The public is urged to adhere to all posted rules and guidelines.

Bring an emergency kit with you to the shelter, including: food, any non-perishable special dietary needs, prescription medications, water, pillows and bedding, flashlights, extra clothing and eyeglasses, personal hygiene items, activities for children, and other items you may need.

When you arrive, check in with shelter management staff.

Special health needs individuals should be accompanied by a caregiver. Shelter personnel will not be able to adequately attend to these patients.

No pet shelters are available on Lanai, Molokai, West Maui or Upcountry Maui. Pet owners should try to accommodate pets with friends or at boarding locations if their own home is unsafe for their pet.

Pets will be allowed at designated shelters in pet carriers only.

Pets may remain in a vehicle at non-pet shelters; vehicle windows should be left slightly open for ventilation.

If a pet is displaced, call the Maui Humane Society at 877-3680 for assistance after storm conditions subside.

Haleakala National Park officials today announced:

All staff backcountry travel is canceled, and overnight trips in the backcountry for visitors are canceled as of Monday.

All Summit area trails will be closed for travel beginning Monday at 5 p.m., and no backcountry permits will be issued.

The Park will continually monitor conditions and re-open trails for travel as soon as possible after the storm passes.

Kipahulu campground, the Pipiwai Trail and the pools at Oheo will all be closed beginning Monday afternoon, or sooner if conditions dictate. They will reopen to the public when conditions allow. The Park Service beaches at Alelele and Nuu will also be closed due to the potential for high surf; all areas will likely remain closed through Tuesday.

The Visitor Center at Kipahulu will close early on Monday and may remain closed Tuesday.

Road travel to the Summit may be closed if winds reach 50 miles an hour. The Park Service will monitor conditions and make an assessment of road conditions on an hourly basis. Visitors driving to the Summit Monday night or Tuesday should note that closures of the road are possible. Even if the road remains open, all trails will be closed starting Monday at 5 p.m. and will not reopen conditions allow.

Other pre-storm considerations:

The public is advised that the Maui County Civil Defense Agency does not provide sandbags.

Employees who are scheduled to work Monday night should plan ahead in case storm conditions prevent them from returning home after work.

For more information:
www.mauicounty.gov
www.hawaiiredcross.org
Maui County Civil Defense and Traffic Advisory Line at 986-1200

(Posted by Wendy Osher @ 6:26 p.m. HST Sunday, August 9, 2009; Information provided by The County of Maui)

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