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Shutdown closes most of Hawaii Volcanoes; Pearl Harbor remains open

(Walter Lim/Flickr)
January 21, 2018

The federal government’s shutdown caused most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to close today and shuttered the online reservation system for the USS Arizona Memorial.

But all Pearl Harbor historic sites, including the USS Arizona Memorial, will remain open during normal business hours today through Monday, according to a spokeswoman for the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Other Pearl Harbor historic sites that are open are the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the aviation museum.

However, online ticket reservations at are not available “due to a lapse in funding for the federal government,” the website said.

Reservations already in the system will be honored, said Jason Blount, spokesman for the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, where the USS Arizona Memorial is located.

Tickets to the memorial will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis daily, beginning at 7 a.m., Blount said.

On Hawaii island, most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was closed for public safety due to the lapse in federal funding and the ongoing eruption of Kilauea Volcano at the summit and from the Puu Oo vent, said Jessica Ferracane, park spokeswoman.

She said in an email that “the hazards associated with the active volcano pose a significant risk to the safety of visitors in the absence of National Park Service staff.”

The dispatch center said this morning that staff were putting up signs and letting visitors know about the closure.

Closed are the entire summit area of Kilauea, Crater Rim Drive, Chain of Craters Road and the active lava flow within the park boundary.

Areas that remain open are: Highway 11 through the park and Mauna Loa Road to Kipukapuaulu, along with Kipukapuaulu Trail, the day use area, and the tree molds. Kau Desert Trail is open to the Footprints exhibit shelter.

Access may change without notice, and there are no NPS-provided services, Ferracane said.

Backcountry permits will not be issued and overnight camping is prohibited.

Guests at Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp must leave by Monday morning, and the Volcano Art Center Gallery is closed.

On Maui, Haleakala National Park closed all its visitor centers and restrooms, but is keeping its trails open during the government shutdown, according to a recording on the park’s voicemail.

The park’s summit district will be closed from 3 to 7 a.m. daily and remain open at other times. The restrooms and other summit facilities, however, will be closed.

Those with camping permits for the backcountry cabins should make other plans and seek a refund after the government reopens, the park said.

During the closure, limited emergency response will be available on the trails.

In the 2013 government shutdown, commissaries closed and workers from Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard were furloughed.

Today, employees at the commissaries at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Navy Exchange Mall said the grocery stores were open, but further questions were referred to the Defense Commissary Agency.


© 2018 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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