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Contact: Jessica Ferracane/Public Affairs Specialist, 808-985-6018
Hawaii National Park, Hawai'i – To ensure the safety of visitors and employees, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park will close at noon today until it is deemed safe to reopen.
Park staff and volunteers not directly involved in storm efforts were directed to stay home. Guests at Kīlauea Military Camp and Volcano House will shelter in place, or if necessary, be directed to the nearest shelter.
Rangers will assess impacts from Hurricane Madeline at 8 a.m. Thursday. The strongest winds are predicted to hit the park between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters predict the park could see up to 10 inches of rain, maximum winds of 45 mph up to 75 mph (depending on the storm's track), and dangerously high surf.
"The closure will continue until we have a chance to assess the impact to the park and mitigate any damage. With Hurricane Lester right on the heels of Madeline, and still a Category 4 hurricane, we could end up continuing the closure for a few days until it's safe to reopen," said Chief Ranger John Broward.
Rangers will determine by Friday if the Kahuku Unit, open only on Saturdays and Sundays, will remain closed over the weekend.
Updates will be posted to the park's website www.nps.gov/havo, and its official social media sites.