Repairs reopen ‘Oheo Stream, pools to public

The stream monitoring equipment along ‘Oheo Stream in Haleakala National Park’s Kipahulu District that warns swimmers of potential flash flooding has been repaired and replaced.

The stream and pools have been closed to the public for several weeks due to the dysfunctional stream monitoring equipment as well as recent storm conditions. Under Haleakala National Park safety policy, the stream is closed to visitors when flash-flood conditions occur or if the monitoring system becomes nonfunctional and flood levels cannot be determined.

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

The stream monitoring system consists of sensors along several miles of the Palikea and Oheo streams. The sensors track water levels and rainfall and the system sounds an alarm in the Kipahulu Visitor Center when flash-flood conditions are possible. When the alarm is triggered, the pools are closed.

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.

When the pools are closed, visitors must abide by posted “stream closed” signs and the direction of park staff. Injuries and fatalities have resulted from visitors entering closed areas.