The Oheo Stream along Pipiwai Trail remains closed to the public because of high water and damaged stream monitoring equipment, Haleakala National Park officials said Wednesday afternoon.
The stream has been closed for a week because of recent storm conditions and flooding that prohibit National Park Service staff from safely accessing upstream water monitors, officials said. According to the park's safety policy, the stream is closed when flash-flood conditions occur or if the stream flow monitoring system becomes disabled and flood levels cannot be determined.
"We appreciate everyone's continued patience during this ongoing safety concern," park Superintendent Natalie Gates said.
The stream monitoring equipment is a series of sensors located 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-flooding conditions are possible. The triggering of the alarm signals heightened flood potential and results in the closing of the Pools at Oheo to visitors, officials said.
Visitors need to abide by the "stream closed" signs and directions of park staff, officials said.
"Although the stream may appear calm at sea level, flooding may be imminent due to heavy upland rainfall," Gates said.
Injuries and deaths have occurred when visitors entered closed areas.
Last month, rising waters in the Kipahulu area stranded two 16-year-old girls from other hikers off trail near the Pipiwai Trail. The girls spent the night in the cold and rain until rescuers could reach them, unharmed, the next morning.