Stream Monitoring Equipment at ʻOheʻo Repaired

May 9, 2014, 9:23 AM HST · Updated May 9, 9:25 AM
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Pool at ʻOheʻo Gulch. Image courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

Pool at ʻOheʻo Gulch. Image courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

By Wendy Osher

The stream monitoring equipment along ʻOheʻo stream in Haleakalā National Park has been repaired and replaced, according to an announcement issued today.

The stream had been closed for more than a month following storm conditions and continued flooding that damaged equipment in the area.

Park officials said storm conditions initially prohibited staff from safely accessing the upstream sensors, which are used to determine if flash flooding exists.

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According to park policy, the stream is closed as a safety precaution when flash flooding occurs, or if the monitoring system becomes non-functional and flood levels cannot be determined, authorities said in a previous announcement.

ʻOheʻo Gulch in East Maui region of Kīpahulu. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

ʻOheʻo Gulch in East Maui region of Kīpahulu. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

Once flood waters subsided, staff members were able to access, repair, and replace the equipment, park officials announced today.

The sensors, located along several miles of the Palikea and ʻOheʻo Streams, track water levels and rainfall.

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When flash flooding conditions are possible, the system is designed to sound an alarm at the Kīpahulu Visitor Center, which in turn triggers the closure of pools along the stream.

“The alarm goes off when water levels reach 10 cubic feet of water per second, a rate that could sweep a small child or a weak or injured swimmer into the ocean,” park officials said in a press release.

Visitors are advised and reminded to abide by posted closure signs along the stream, and are asked to follow the direction and instruction of park staff.

Park officials say injuries and fatalities have resulted in the past from visitors entering closed areas.

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