Weather closes parts of Haleakala National Park

KULA, Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hazardous weather conditions Wednesday forced officials to close access to parts of Haleakala National Park on Maui until further notice.

Park rangers said a large boulder slid onto Crater Road just beyond the 15 mile marker early this morning, effectively blocking traffic. Sunrise visitors at the summit above the slide were temporarily blocked from descending down Crater Road until the debris was cleared at 8:30 a.m. However, park staff re-closed the road in the same area because of a continued high rockslide hazard. All visitor traffic is being stopped at the Headquarters Visitor Center.

Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum also ordered the temporary closure of the backcountry area of the park due to severe weather conditions at the summit valley. Campers at Hosmer Grove campground were encouraged to evacuate because of local flood warnings in nearby streams. Several trails and backcountry cabins are affected by the temporary closure.

"The conditions in the park pose unacceptable risks to visitors and park staff," Creachbaum said. "Public and park staff safety is of primary concern under these conditions."

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