(ABOVE) A map of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where the National Park Service will be closing certain roads, trails and campsites in lieu of Iselle.
HAWAII ISLAND – The National Park Service and the State Department of Land and Natural Resources are both closing down numerous camping areas and trails as Hurricane Iselle threatens Hawaii Island. The two entities sent out media releases on Tuesday.
In anticipation of Hurricane Iselle bearing down on the Hawaiian Islands, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will remain open, but park officials are closing all backcountry areas and some roads.
Park officials will close the following areas as of 6 p.m. Wed., Aug. 6, 2014. Closures will remain in effect until the storm has passed and conditions are safe:
– Chain of Craters Road, from Devastation Trail parking lot to the coast
– All backcountry areas, including Mauna Loa and cabins
– Mauna Loa Road (known locally as “Mauna Loa Strip Road”)
– All coastal areas and trails, including, ‘Āpua Point, Keauhou, Halapē, and Ka‘aha
– Kulanaokuaiki campsite
– Nāpau campsite
– Nāmakanipaio campgrounds (the A-frame cabins will remain open)
Additional closures may be warranted as the storm gets closer. Kīlauea Visitor Center will remain open during its normal hours, 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thurston Lava Tube will remain open. Volcano House and Kīlauea Military Camp will remain open.
The National Weather Service issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Hawai‘i Island at 11 a.m., Aug. 5. Forecasters predict extremely heavy rains, flash floods, high surf, and strong winds. A Tropical Storm Watch means that storm conditions are expected within the next 48 hours. While Iselle is currently listed as a hurricane, it is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm as it gets closer to Hawai‘i.National Park Service media release
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is advising the public to follow instructions of State Civil Defense 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 tropical storm system Iselle as early as Thursday on the Big Island.
Both Iselle, and Julio in its wake, are evolving storm systems whose track and intensity may be affected by various weather factors. However, people should heed National Weather Service reports and be ready in event of emergency situations.
DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storms approach. Additional closures may follow as the storms approach. People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf.
Areas closing on Wednesday August 6:
Hawaii – By 6 p.m., Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will close all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas, including Keanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu valley campground until further notice. DOFAW has suspended issuing camping permits.
Maui County – By 6 p.m., Maui DOFAW will close all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas (including Lanai GMA); this closure also affects Polipoli State Park (persons with camping permits are being notified).
Oahu – DOFAW has closed the Peacock Flats camping area to hiking and camping, and the Manoa Falls trail.
Kauai – By 6 p.m. DOFAW camping areas, including Waimea Canyon, Alakai Wilderness, Sugi Grove and Kawaikoi will be closed. As of Wednesday morning, Division of State Parks will close Napali Coast State Wilderness Park and the Kalalau trail will be closed to entering hikers. Trail closed signs will be posted at the Kalalau trailhead. State Parks will send a helicopter out on Wednesday to warn campers at Kalalau beach to evacuate or shelter in place.
Division of State Parks is suspending issuance of any new park camping permits statewide that would begin before Tuesday August 12th. This directive may be modified island by island as the track of the storms and their effects become known.
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. State Department of Land and Natural Resources media release