DLNR NEWS RELEASE: DLNR to Close Areas for Arrival of Hurricane Madeline

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 in Latest News

Public advised to follow weather advisories, avoid outdoor areas

HONOLULU — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is closing state forest and park areas on the islands of Hawaii and Maui, in anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Madeline.

DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storm approaches.  Additional closures may follow over the week, and updates will be provided to news media and on the department’s website.

People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf as well as ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches and rocky coastal benches and lava flows. Roads and trails may become impassable with falling trees, landslides, and floods. High surf may impact coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways.  Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches.

DLNR areas closing today, Tuesday August 30:

HAWAII ISLAND –
Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will close this evening all forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, forest campgrounds and game management areas, including Keanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu valley campground until further notice.  Camping permits for this weekend are cancelled until further notice.

Division of State Parks is closing its park campgrounds, pavilions and cabins starting tonight. All Big Island parks will remain closed tomorrow and will not re-open until conditions warrant.

The use of state park cabins and pavilions will be restricted starting tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, until further notice.

Persons holding camping and cabin permits are being notified by staff, and offered a refund or an alternate date.  An email blast to Kealakekua Bay kayak permit holders was issued to inform them of the approaching storm.

Those with reservations on following days should check with the Hawaii State Parks office.

DLNR areas closing tomorrow, Wednesday August 31:

HAWAII ISLAND –
Division of State Parks will close all Big Island park campgrounds, pavilions, cabins along with Lava Tree State Monument, Mackenzie State Recreation Area and Manuka State Wayside on Wednesday. All other Big Island State Parks will remain open until end of the day on Wednesday and then will not re-open until storm assessments are conducted and the conditions are determined safe enough for reopening.

Commercial tour vessels and recreational vessels that use Kealakekua Bay are advised to cancel tours and stay out of the Bay – unless vessel captains need to use the bay as a safe harbor for the vessel if they are caught at sea in the storm.

Persons holding camping and cabin permits are being notified by staff, and offered a refund or an alternate date. Those with reservations on following days should check with the Hawaii State Parks office.

MAUI COUNTY –
Division of Forestry and Wildlife will close by noon Wednesday all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas.

Division of State Parks – Polipoli State Park will be closed, but all other Maui State Parks will remain open on Wednesday, and with considerations based on storm assessment for closure on Thursday.

Other DLNR areas:

OAHU –
Forestry and Wildlife and State parks  – No closures at this time. Storm conditions will be monitored and closures will be announced as required.

KAUAI –
Division of Forestry and Wildlife — No closures at this time. Storm conditions will be monitored and closures will be announced as required.

State Parks (and Kalalau trail) – No changes at this time. Storm conditions will be monitored and closures will be announced as required.
DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) does not plan to close any state small boat harbors but is advising boaters to monitor VHF radio for Coast Guard information on port closures and other safety advisories. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling.  The Coast Guard reminds recreational boaters to secure boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they are less likely to break free of their moorings or be otherwise damaged. It may be advisable for smaller boats to be pulled from the water and stored in a location not prone to high winds or flooding. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels need to be secured or removed.

Hurricane Madeline is an evolving storm system whose track and intensity may be affected by various weather factors. People should heed weather reports and be ready in event of emergency situations, including power or water outages and flooded or blocked roads.

DLNR also urges people to follow instructions of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) and County Civil Defense agencies to prepare for the possibility of heavy rain, flooding, strong winds, power outages, large surf and coastal surge with the arrival of Hurricane Madeline in Hawaii as early as this afternoon.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf often impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches and out of the water until local officials say the water is safe. Near shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

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Media Contact:
Deborah Ward
Communications specialist
(808) 587-0320