HELCO Response to Utility Pole on Fire in Lava Flow Path

No power interruptions due to the lava flow have been reported and utility poles along Apa’a Street currently remain in place, Hawaii Electric Light Company reports. However, it does appear that one of the poles is beginning to show the impacts of the lava’s heat.

HELCO Pole

“This morning, our technical experts found the pole that was surrounded by lava had sunk about ten feet and either steam or smoke was coming through the cinder piled around the pole. We suspect the pole is burning slowly at the ground level. We cooled the pole and protective barrier with water and will continue to monitor the condition of the pole. At this time, the pole remains standing and it does not appear to have sunk further,” said spokesperson Rhea Lee. “As a precautionary measure, we took the transmission line out of service while we evaluated the situation and cooled the pole. We put this line back in service this afternoon. However, we were able to keep power on for all customers through an alternative transmission line.”

Hawaii Electric Light is continuing with other contingency plans including:

  • Relocating a portion of its primary distribution line to the opposite side of Pahoa Village Road onto two taller poles installed under a joint pole agreement with Hawaiian Telcom. The taller poles were spaced farther apart than normal and allowed Hawaiian Telcom to raise their cables higher on the pole. Hawaii Electric Light was then able to cut the tops of the poles located on the opposite side of the road to reduce the height of the poles in the event lava causes them to fall, thereby minimizing the chance the poles would cause damage to the pole line across the street. The shorter poles contain a distribution line serving customers in the immediate area. Hawaii Electric Light will keep the power on for customers in this section of Pahoa Village Road for as long as it is safe to do so.
  • Crews are extending the distribution line on Government Beach Road between Hawaiian Paradise Park and Hawaiian Beaches to provide power to Hawaiian Beaches should existing lines located closer to Highway 130 become inoperable.
  • Hawaii Electric Light has relocated a large diesel generator to Puna and will be moving a second large diesel generator to the same location. These units will be able to provide power for the lower portion of Puna if this section is cut off from the rest of the island grid.

Lava Flow Enters Pahoa

June 27th flow enters Pāhoa

The June 27th lava flow burns vegetation as it approaches a property boundary above Pāhoa early on the morning of Tuesday, October 28, 2014.

Lava pushed through a fence marking a property boundary above Pāhoa early on Tuesday morning.

By dawn on Tuesday morning, lava had crossed into two privately owned properties above Pāhoa. Note the inflated flow behind the fence, which is chest-high. We are grateful to the owners of the property for allowing us access and permission to work on their land and post these photos.

Pahoa Post Office Still Open – Hilo Post Office to Serve as Stopgap

The U.S. Postal Service Honolulu District Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been meeting regularly to monitor the progress of the Puna lava flow and is reviewing contingency plans that will enable the Postal Service to continue to serve affected customers.

postoffice
The District is in close contact with Hawaii County civil defense authorities and managers of potentially affected Hawaii Island Post Offices. Contingency plans are being informed and guided by general civil defense public safety directives and specific concerns over the safety of Postal Service employees.

One of the factors that the EMT is closely monitoring is the impact to air quality of sulfuric dioxide emissions from the lava and smoke from burning forestry. Adjustments will be made to postal operations as needed to ensure that employee safety is not compromised by air quality.

The Pahoa Post Office will remain open for business as long as it can operate without jeopardizing the safety or security of our postal employees, our customers and the mail. If the Pahoa Post Office is evacuated, the Hilo Post Office will likely serve as a stopgap base of operations.

The District is making arrangements to lease an alternate facility near Pahoa that can be operational soon after an evacuation. The Postal Service is committed to continue delivery to its Pahoa customers as long as it is safe to do so.

Contingency plans will likely evolve as the lava flow continues to impact access to Pahoa and the lives of its residents.

Plans must consider employee safety concerns, the availability of resources and the Postal Service’s commitment to customer service.

The bottom line is that, regardless of how this lava flow event plays out, the mail will be delivered. We will find a way to get it done.

Lava Flow Invades Pahoa Town – Pictures

The June 27th lava flow remained active, and the flow front was nearing residential areas in the northwest portion of Pāhoa.

1027flowfront

Click to enlarge

The flow front was heading towards a low spot on the Pāhoa Village Road, between Apaʻa St. and the post office.

This annotated photograph shows the notable features around the flow front. The photo was taken at 11:30 am, and also shows the distance the flow front has traveled between Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St. and Pāhoa Village Rd.

This annotated photograph shows the notable features around the flow front. The photo was taken at 11:30 am, and also shows the distance the flow front has traveled between Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St. and Pāhoa Village Rd.

This photo was taken at 11:30 am today, when the flow front was 540 meters (0.3 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

A wider view of the flow, showing its proximity to Pāhoa Village Road. Pāhoa Village Road spans the bottom portion of the photograph.

A wider view of the flow, showing its proximity to Pāhoa Village Road. Pāhoa Village Road spans the bottom portion of the photograph.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image. The white box shows the approximate extent of the thermal image. The elevated temperatures (white and yellow areas) around the flow front indicate that significant activity is focused at the front, driving its forward movement.

thermalsnipIn addition, a slow-moving lobe was active upslope of Cemetery Rd. Farther upslope, scattered breakouts persist in the wider portion of the flow.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Puna Bus Routes Adjusted in Response to Lava

Starting Oct. 27, the bus stops fronting the Pāhoa 7-11, and at Pāhoa School will not be serviced by Hele-On. New stops have been established along Highway 130 and Highway 132 due to the Pāhoa Village Road closure because of the pending lava flows.

HPP Bus Picture

The Pāhoa-area bus stops will be as follows:

North Bound

  • Highway 132 at New Hope Church Sign
  • Highway 130 at Homestead Road (Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science)
  • Highway 130 at Pahoa Fire / Police Station

South Bound

  • Highway 130 at Malama Market
  • Highway 130 at Homestead Road (Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science)
  • Highway 132 across from the New Hope Church Sign

Riders should use the Pāhoa bus schedule, and refer to the column marked “Pāhoa” for times for north- and south-bound travel.

Please anticipate longer travel times due to additional traffic and construction related activities along Highway 130.  For further information, contact the Mass Transit Agency at 961-8343 or visit our website at www.heleonbus.org.

 

Lava Flow 0.7 Miles From Crossing Highway 130

This is an eruption and lava flow Information Update for Monday October 27th at 2:30PM.

Photo via Ena Media (http://www.enamediahawaii.com/)

The lava flow crosses Cemetery Road on its way into Pahoa Town.  Photo via Ena Media (http://www.enamediahawaii.com/)

The flow continues to remain active and has advanced approximately 35 yards since this morning at 6:40AM.  The flow front is currently moving in a northeast direction and is approximately 70 yards from the nearest residential property. The flow advancement has been inconsistent however averaging approximately 5 yards per hour.

Smoke conditions were light to moderate with moderate trade winds from the northeast pushing the smoke in a south southwest direction. Smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents down wind that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

Lower Puna RoadsBased on the current flow location, direction and advancement, residents in the flow path were placed on an evacuation advisory and notified of possible need for evacuation beginning last night.  The evacuation advisory for those residents down slope of the flow will continue and residents will be kept informed of the flow status and advancement.

The Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road will remain closed and limited to area residents only. In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be broadcasted as conditions change.

Pahoa Village Road Closed Near Post Office Because of Impending Lava Flow

This is a lava flow and evacuation Information Update for Sunday October 26th at 9:30pm.

Civildefense

The flow continues to remain active and has increased in its advancement rate and speed.  The flow is currently moving at a rate of approximately 15 to 20 yards an hour.  The flow has advanced approximately 170 yards since 9:00 this morning and presently located approximately 600 yards from the Pahoa Village Road.

Based on the current flow location, direction, and advancement rate, residents in the immediate downslope area of the flow path have been advised to prepare for possible evacuation tonight. Other area residents will be kept informed of flow status and any need for evacuation. Civil Defense personnel and community emergency response teams will be going door to door through the immediate area and informing residents of the current flow conditions and possible evacuation. Due to the unpredictability and inconsistency in the flow rate of advancement precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all residents. Please monitor local radio broadcast for additional information and updates.

As the flow approaches the community, smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents down wind that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

Effective 9:30 PM tonight, Pāhoa Village road will be closed from  Apaʻa Street to Post Office Road and limited to area residents only. In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be broadcasted as conditions change.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistacne is greatly appreciated.

HELCO Attempts to Protect Power Poles From Lava Flow

Hawaii Electric Light continues to work closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other agencies to monitor and evaluate the lava flow and has put into action the plans that are appropriate for this stage, including:

  • Pole protection measures were installed on four poles along Apaa Street. The poles were partially encased with heat resistant and dispersive material to protect them from the heat generated by the lava.
  • A large diesel generator was relocated to the Kapoho area to provide an alternate source of generation should the flow isolate the area from the island-wide power grid.
  • The distribution line extension construction continues on Government Beach Road as an alternate means to provide power to Hawaiian Beaches should the existing power distribution lines become inoperable.
HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the telephone poles on Cemetery Road.  (Click to enlarge)

HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the poles on Cemetery Road. As of 2 PM, the flow was only 135 m (approximately 150 yards) from Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St., which spans this photo. HELCO crews can be seen working to protect utility poles along the road. (Click to enlarge)

“The safety of our community and employees is our top priority,” said spokesperson Kristen Okinaka. “We’re working closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and have taken the necessary steps to protect our facilities.”

Hawaii Electric Light advises customers who are planning to move and would like to discontinue or transfer their electric service to call (808) 969-6999. In the event evacuation is necessary before electric service has been removed, the company recommends customers:

  • Shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch;
  • Unplug or turn off electric equipment and appliances.

As there are new developments, updates will be provided to the media and public and also posted on Hawaii Electric Light’s website (www.hawaiielectriclight.com), Twitter (@HIElectricLight), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HawaiianElectric) accounts.

Lava Flow Approximately 0.3 Miles From Apa’a Street Near Pahoa Transfer Station

This is an eruption and lava flow Information Update for Thursday October 23rd at 8:45 am

This morning’s assessment shows that the narrow finger that was advancing along the south edge of the flow has advanced approximately 425 yards since yesterday.  This new flow front is active and moving in a northeast direction.  Currently the leading edge of the advancing flow is approximately .3 miles from the Apa’a Street area near the Pahoa Transfer Station.  There was very little burning activity and smoke conditions were moderate. There is no brush fire threat at this time.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and no evacuation is needed at this time.  Area residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary.

With the change in flow activity and advancement, Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road will be closed between the Pahoa Transfer Station and the Kaohe Homesteads Road.  In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

The public is reminded that the flow is not visible and cannot be accessed from any public areas.   Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will remain restricted to area residents only.

Governor Issues Executive Order Turning Over State-Owned Portion of Chain of Craters Road to Hawaii County

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today issued an executive order that turns over 3.68 miles of the state-owned portion of Chain of Craters Road near Kalapana to Hawaii County.

Chain of Craters

The executive order states that the land is “hereby turned over to the County of Hawaii, in fee simple, for use as a county highway, and the County of Hawaii shall hereafter be responsible for its repair and maintenance as a county highway.”

On Sept. 15, Gov. Abercrombie signed a supplemental emergency proclamation to include the repair, restorations, rebuilding, or reestablishment of Chain of Craters Road, for use as an alternate emergency route should the June 27th lava flow cross Highway 130 near Pahoa and isolate communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawaii County. That proclamation, a supplement to the original emergency proclamation signed on Sept. 5, also extended the disaster emergency relief period through Dec. 1, 2014.

The original proclamation suspended certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130. It also activated the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.

 

Commentary – Growing Weary of the National Park Service

I’m growing weary of the National Park Service’s repeated attempts to stop development in North Kona. They’ve held up three different projects that I’m aware of over the past 14 years. The NPS has intervened in the Kaloko Makai, Kaloko Industrial Park expansion (phases III and IV) and the second phase of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening.

The latter project was slated to start in 2011, but the National Park Service intervened and requested a Section 106 consultation. This opened the door for other Native Hawaiian Organizations to intervene. The net result of these delays is approximately 100 construction workers are on the bench and a much-needed highway widening is stalled.

The National Park Service also intervened in TSA Corporation’s petition to reclassify 102 acres of land for the Kaloko Light Industrial Park expansion.They did a case study titled “Using State Laws And Regulations To Protect Parks From Adjacent evelopment”, which detailed their actions in this matter.

The TSA Corporation wasn’t able to start construction until mid 2007 due to the National Park’s intervention. However, the overall economy was sliding into the Great Recession at that time. These lots remain unsold to this day. The TSA Corporation never recouped their 43 million dollar investment as a result.

History is about to repeat itself on a more devastating scale if the Commission on Water Resource Management approves the NPS’s petition to designate the Keauhou Aquifer  as a water management area. The Department of Water Supply won’t be issuing new water meters until they can determine how much existing usage there is. In addition, all new requests for water will have to go through a quasi-judicial contested case hearing. This isn’t a quick process, as various experts will be presenting  contradictory information during these proceedings.

The National Park Service actions will undoubtedly affect future economic growth in North Kona as a result. Their actions are not only wasting taxpayer money, but also puts the residents on North Kona in harms way.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Chain of Craters Road to be Rebuilt as Emergency Route

The National Park Service announced today that it will work with the State and County of Hawai‘i to construct an emergency route along the former Chain of Craters Road to assist residents of lower Puna, whose access to the rest of the island would be cut off if lava covers Highway 130.

“For the past several weeks, we have been putting all of our efforts into getting approval for an alternate route that can be used during this devastating emergency,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory estimated on Sept. 19 that based on the flow’s location and rate of advancement at that time, lava from Kīlauea Volcano’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent could reach Highway 130 in 21 days – but noted as of Sept. 22, the lava flow advance rate has slowed.

The route, mostly within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, would provide emergency access for the community and would not be open for visitor use. Nearly eight miles of the coastal section of Chain of Craters Road is buried beneath rough, hardened lava, and 5.4 miles is within the national park.

The open section of Chain of Craters Road spans 19 miles from the summit of Kīlauea to sea level within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Opened in 1965, the road has been blocked by lava for 37 of its 49-year existence.

To protect park resources, the emergency route will follow the old lava-covered road alignment as much as practicable.

“The NPS is deeply concerned about this potential disaster to our community, our friends, families, employees and volunteers,” said Orlando. “We have been working diligently with our partners to find an acceptable solution in accordance with federal law,” she said.

Governor Signs Supplemental Emergency Proclamation in Preparation of Lava Flow Crossing Highway 130

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed a supplemental emergency proclamation to include the repair, restorations, rebuilding, or reestablishment of Chain of Craters Road, for use as an alternate emergency route should the June 27th lava flow cross Highway 130 near Pahoa and isolate communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawaii County.

“Even though the lava flow appears to have slowed to a halt for the time being, the state and Hawaii County are prepared and moving forward together with contingency plans in the event the lava does progress farther,” Gov. Abercrombie said.

Today’s proclamation, supplemental to the emergency proclamation signed on Sept. 5, also extends the disaster emergency relief period through Dec. 1, 2014.

The original proclamation suspended certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130. It also activated the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.

Residents are also encouraged to enroll in local notification systems and monitor local radio and television broadcasts.

Federal Aid Programs Announced for Hawaii Residents Affected By Iselle

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Hawaii.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

  • Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

FEMA Statement on Federal Aid for State of Hawaii After Tropical Storm Iselle

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Hawaii to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Tropical Storm Iselle during the period of August 7-9, 2014.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Iselle in Hawaii and Maui counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Kenneth K. Suiso has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Suiso said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

New USGS Maps Released – Where the Lava Flow is Now

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone on September 12, 2014.

The area of the flow on September 10, 2014, at 2:45 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 12 at 12:30 PM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 14.9 km (9.3 miles; straight-line distance) from the vent and 0.17 km (0.1 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 17.1 km (10.6 miles). The flow was advancing toward the northeast. The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the digital elevation model (DEM) perfectly represents the earth’s surface. But, DEMs are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on the flow behavior over the past several days and the local topography. (see large map)

Large-scale map of Kīlauea’s ERZ flow field

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities. The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The latitude and longitude of the flow front on September 12 was 19.46388/-154.98343 (Decimal degrees; WGS84). The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the digital elevation model (DEM) perfectly represents the earth’s surface. But, DEMs are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on the flow behavior over the past several days and the local topography. (see large map)

Shaded-relief map of East Rift Zone near flow front

This shaded-relief map, with digital surface data provided by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, shows some of the cracks, faults, and grabens (down-dropped blocks between adjacent faults; http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/glossary/?term=graben) that are present in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, and which have partly controlled the June 27th flow’s advance direction. The June 27th flow as of September 10, 2014, at 2:45 PM is shown in pink, while flow advance since then (as of ~12:30 PM on September 12) is shown in red. At the time of the mapping, the flow was advancing toward the northeast. (see large map)

Lava Flow Moving to the Northeast

June 27 flow moving to the northeast

As of Friday afternoon, September 12, 2014, the most distal front of the June 27th lava flow had reached a straight-line distance of 14.9 km (9.3 miles) from the source vent on the northeast flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. The flow has continued in the northeast direction that it assumed in the middle of the week and is now only 171 meters (0.1 miles) from the boundary of the Kaohe Homesteads community. The flow is still within thick forest, so that dense plumes of smoke are created as vegetation is consumed. Small breakouts (visible as plumes in the middle distance) are also active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow.

View looking northeast along the terminus of the July 27th flow. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, and Pāhoa town is in the middle center. The active flow is in the middle left.
 View from above the middle part of the June 27th flow looking south at a small breakout that is burning forest along the previously existing flow margin. Heiheiahulu cone is in the upper left.

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of the flow front and its position relative to Kaohe Homesteads.

The photo on the left is compared here to a thermal image on the right, which provides a clear view of the flow front of the June 27th flow through the thick smoke. The vent for the June 27th flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen at the top of the normal photograph. After pouring in and out of ground cracks in late August, the flow finally emerged from the cracks around September 3 and began spilling out towards the north. The northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision can be seen in the lower left of the images.

Lava Flow Estimated to Cross Highway 130 in Two Weeks

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Land and Natural Resources announce the immediate closure of Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, until further notice, due to the hazards associated with the June 27 lava flow. Wao Kele o Puna is owned by OHA and managed by DLNR.

I would hardly call it a crime scene!

I would hardly call it a crime scene!

Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Ka Pouhana, OHA (Chief Executive Officer) said, “It is prudent at this time to close Wao Kele o Puna due to lava activity and subsequent unsafe conditions.

William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson said, “We join with Hawaii Civil Defense and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to warn the public of extreme danger from lava flowing through cracks in Wao Kele O Puna, and Kahauale’a Natural Area Reserve. Both areas are off-limits to all persons. We will prosecute anyone entering these areas for any purpose, including unauthorized lava sightseeing tours. Hikers have been lost or injured in these areas, and personnel called in to rescue them have also been put in danger.”

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will be assisting Hawaii County to build the alternate roads in Puna.

Lava is estimated to cross Highway 130 in approximately two weeks if it stays on its current path.

DOFAW will provide a D8 bulldozer and equipment operator to Nanawale/Railroad Ave. tomorrow and expect work will take several weeks. Portions of the old railroad right-of-way run through state forest and unencumbered lands. Railroad Ave. bisects Nanawale state Forest Reserve

President Obama Issues Major Disaster Declaration for Hawaii and Maui Counties

Today, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Hawai‘i activating the release of federal funds to help communities recover from Tropical Storm Iselle that occurred from August 7-9, 2014.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

“This is great news for the thousands of people in Puna who were affected by Iselle,” Senator Schatz said.  “This federal assistance is critical to supporting our communities’ ongoing recovery. I thank President Obama for recognizing the critical needs of the many families still rebuilding in Puna.”

“I thank President Obama for issuing a major disaster declaration for the State of Hawai‘i,” said Senator Hirono. “Families and the community continue to rebuild after Tropical Storm Iselle hit over a month ago and much of the damage to our farms and homes will take many years to rebuild.  Similar to how our communities came together during the disaster, we’ll continue to come together during recovery. I look forward to the ongoing work with my colleagues in our joint effort to help ensure people get the resources they need to rebuild.”

All areas in the State of Hawai‘i are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Civil Defense Update on Eruption and Lava Flow

This is a civil defense message.

Civildefense

This is an Eruption and Lava Flow Information Update for Wednesday September 10th at 8:15 AM.

This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow continues and is moving in a north/northeast direction.  There is no wildfire threat at this time.  Weather and fire conditions are being monitored closely.  Due to a light inversion this morning smoke conditions in the area were moderate.

Photo of the flow from the top of my Mattson container at 8:45 this morning.

Photo of the flow from the top of my Mattson container at 8:45 this morning.

The surface flow has advanced approximately 250 yards since yesterday.  The surface flow is moving slowly and does not pose an immediate threat to area residents.  The surface flow is located approximately .6 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving in a north/northeast direction and parallel to the forest reserve boundary.

Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities.  No evacuation is required at this time.  Eruption activity will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be provided.

Although the current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities, residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.

The public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas.  Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will be restricted and limited to subdivision residents only.