Diamond Head State Monument on O‘ahu reopens following Sunday closure
Following a midday closure on June 11 due to a water main outage, the iconic Diamond Head State Monument on O‘ahu has reopened.
Matt McConnell, the park’s interpretive center manager, said at opening Sunday morning there was not an obvious water problem, but by 8 a.m. there was no water flowing into the park.
“That meant no restrooms, no ability for visitors to wash their hands, no bottle filling stations, and no drinking fountains. For everyone’s health and safety we had to close the park,” McConnell said.
Assistant Administrator Alan Carpenter, of the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks, said hundreds of people had to be turned away, many with reservations.
“The problem was isolated to a backflow preventer that appears to have been tampered with. On June 4 a concerned citizen provided DLNR with photos showing a water hose being used to siphon water into an encampment of houseless individuals on the lower slopes of Diamond Head,” Carpenter said.
Division of State Parks personnel removed the hoses, and they believe the backflow preventer may have been vandalized in retaliation.
Diamond Head State Monument is the busiest State Park in Hawai‘i, and an estimated 2,000 visitors have reservations to visit during the King Kamehameha state holiday on Monday. That doesn’t count local residents who do not have to make reservations.