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Monday, June 12, 2023
Homeless Shut Down Diamond Head State Park
By News Release @ 12:33 AM :: 2561 Views :: Homelessness, Tourism

DIAMOND HEAD STATE MONUMENT CLOSED TODAY AFTER WATER DISRUPTION 

News Release from DLNR, June 11, 2023

(HONOLULU) – The popular Diamond Head State Monument on O‘ahu was cleared at mid-day after the park’s water system had to be shut down. 

Matt McConnell, the park’s interpretive center manager said at opening this morning there was not an obvious water problem, but by 8:00 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 DLNR 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 (meth addicts) on the lower slopes of Diamond Head,” Carpenter explained. 

DSP 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. 

For those who couldn’t utilize their reservations today, McConnell recommends they call the DSP administrative office or file for a refund online. “Any out-of-state visitors holding  reservations for tomorrow should check the DSP website before coming to Diamond Head. If the online reservation system is up and running it means the park is open. The system was suspended during the water outage. 

It's anticipated the park will reopen tomorrow, and if water service has not been restored DSP is making alternate plans to provide portable restrooms and water supplies. 

Online updates are available at www.dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp. Due to the state holiday on Monday, people seeking refunds should wait to call on Tuesday (808-587-0300). 

# # #

RESOURCES 

(All images and video courtesy: DLNR) 

HD video – https://vimeo.com/835287977  Interview with Matt McConnell and explanation of issue (June 11, 2023)

Photographs – https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/o3rjgmenfiib8ubn2mik0/h?dl=0&rlkey=3ge4ereipsjx7mni3gv2r8rpq  Diamond Head State Monument water disruption (June 4 and June 11, 2023) 

UPDATE: Diamond Head reopens after water outage fix

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