Schools, county and state offices, Maui Bus shut down
Maui County schools shut down today and nonessential county workers were sent home in preparation for Tropical Storm Olivia.
After closing Hana High and Elementary School on Tuesday, the state Department of Education followed suit with all other Maui County public schools today. Maui County’s three public charter schools — Kihei Charter, Kualapuu Charter on Molokai and Hawaii Technology Academy in Wailuku – also closed down, as did Seabury Hall and Kamehameha Schools facilities throughout Maui County.
County and state offices not involved in emergency operations countywide were closed today. The nonessential employees in those departments were given administrative leave.
That also meant county board and commission meetings today were canceled, which included the county Board of Ethics, Lanai Planning Commission and Molokai Planning Commission.
Most county services also were suspended. Bus services, including commuter service, fixed route and paratransit, will not run today. Landfills will be closed, and there will be no residential trash pickups by the county. Trash collection for Hana, Molokai and Lanai today has been rescheduled to Friday, with Thursday refuse collections to be determined at a later date.
As for parks, Hana Bay and the Keanae restrooms were closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday, with all other county parks and facilities shutting down today.
Waianapanapa State Park in East Maui shut down at noon Tuesday. All other state forest reserves; natural area reserves; game management areas; wildlife sanctuaries; public hunting areas; Na Ala Hele trails and parks, including Iao Valley State Monument, were closed today. All closures will remain in effect until further notice; people with camping and lodging permits have been notified via email about refunds or rescheduling their visits.
Haleakala National Park’s Summit and Kipahulu Districts closed at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Sunrise viewings will be canceled today and Thursday, and the gates will be locked. The Kipahulu and Hosmer Grove campgrounds also closed Tuesday.
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and the Kealia Coastal Boardwalk closed today and planned to reopen Thursday if circumstances allow. For more information, visit fws.gov/refuge/kealia_pond/.
Kahului, Kaunakakai and Kaumalapau harbors remain closed today after shutting down Monday night, though Matson kept its yard open through 10 a.m. Tuesday to allow trucks to pick up freight. (A story published Tuesday in The Maui News contained the wrong closure time.)
The U.S. Coast Guard set port condition “zulu” for harbors statewide on Tuesday – a dangerous condition in which winds above 39 mph may reach the area within 12 hours. Port facilities have been closed to inbound and outbound traffic until the storm passes and crews can survey the damage.
However, all state small-boat harbors will remain open during the storm to provide safe harbor for small vessels.
The Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului also announced that the mall would be closed starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, though the county bus stop was open through 9 p.m. The mall expected to reopen Thursday with normal operating hours, pending a post-storm assessment.
Shelters opened countywide at 6 p.m. Tuesday, including at Maui High School (pet friendly), Kihei Elementary (pet friendly), Kalama Intermediate in Makawao (pet friendly), Molokai High, Lanai High and Elementary and the Lahaina Civic Center. The shelter at Hana High and Elementary opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday “because we anticipated that the storm would hit Hana from that direction a lot harder and a lot faster,” Mayor Alan Arakawa said.
For updates on county closures and services, visit mauicounty.gov.
For updates on school closures, visit hawaiipublicschools.org/Pages/Home.aspx; for charter school updates, visit chartercommission.hawaii.gov.
* Colleen Uechi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.