comscore Lava burning asphalt edging Pahoa waste station | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Top News

Lava burning asphalt edging Pahoa waste station

  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    The lava flow inflated to the level of the Pahoa Transfer Station fence on Tuesday.
  • about 400 meters (0.25 miles) upslope of Cemetery Road near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Hawaii County civil defense officials said in a statement Saturday the lava's front remains about 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road. This position hasn't changed since Oct. 30. But lava is creeping out at several spots upslope of the leading edge. (AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey)
  • 2014 photo from the U.S. Geological Survey shows a breakout
  • COURTESY ENA MEDIA HAWAII / BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS
    An aerial view of the lava flow into the Pahoa region of the Big Island.
  • COURTESY ENA MEDIA HAWAII / BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS
    An aerial view of the lava flow into the Pahoa region of the Big Island.
[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]

PAHOA, Hawaii >> Lava flow is lingering near Pahoa’s $3.9 million waste and recycling center while county officials keep an eye on a breakout upslope that moved 225 yards Wednesday.

Fingers of the lava flow that penetrated the facility’s fence on Tuesday stalled once hitting asphalt and have not moved closer to its structures, Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said. However, the lava has wiped out a nearby drainage ditch.   

The county started prepping for the Pahoa Recycling and Transfer Station’s possible destruction in September by establishing a temporary transfer station site behind the Pahoa Community Center and is now looking into possible replacement sites for both temporary and permanent locations. 

Environmental Management director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd said officials are currently documenting the features of facility in preparation for an application for funding assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. On Nov. 4, a presidential disaster declaration made public assistance available for efforts undertaken by the state, county, and certain nonprofits to protect public safety during the so-called June 27 lava flow. 

All eligible applicants are reimbursed on a cost-share basis, with federal funding expected to cover 75 percent of costs tied to lava-related losses and damages. 

Lava as well as heat radiating from the flow threatens the $3.9 million facility, Leithead Todd said. 

Largely constructed of steel and concrete, the Pahoa Transfer station was built in 2011. Residents and county officials describe it as one-of-a-kind for its green infrastructure.  

“One of the best facilities in all the state, maybe the country,” Leithead Todd said.

Upslope, meanwhile, Hawaii County Civil Defense is watching a breakout that could reach Apaa Street in three to five days if it continues at its current rate. 

Lava also continues to advance along a property off Cemetery Road where it burned a house on Monday. 

That lobe remains about 400 to 500 yards from the nearest residence. 

Smoke conditions Wednesday were moderate to heavy. Light tradewinds were blowing the smoke south-southwest towards Leilani Estates and Lower Puna.

Residents downwind of the lava flow with respiratory problems are advised to necessary precautions and remain indoors, Civil Defense officials said.

The area between Pahoa Village Road, where lava remains stalled about 480 feet away, and Apaa Street to Post Office Road remains closed.

Post Office Road will open Thursday morning to two-way traffic.

Hawaii Electric Light Co. spokeswoman Rhea Lee said fire department officials doused two power poles near the transfer station with water and foam for protection Wednesday. 

XXX

Pahoa, HAWAII>> A lava breakout near Pahoa’s $3.5 million waste and recycling center advanced another 225 yards Wednesday, with the flow breaching the center’s fence and burning asphalt. 

The lava first pushed past the transfer station’s fence Tuesday, advancing about 220 yards over a 24-hour period. It has flowed into low areas surrounding the center, volcano scientists said.

The county’s Department of Environmental Management started prepping for the center’s possible destruction in September by establishing a temporary transfer station site behind the Pahoa Community Center. 

A ravine and catchment pond are situated between the lava and the building, where Apaa Street becomes Cemetery Road.

While active breakouts continue to advance behind the stalled flow front, they do not pose an immediate threat to area residents, officials said.

The leading edge of one breakout was several hundred yards above Apaa Street, southwest of the transfer station, volcano scientists said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said the advancing breakout upslope of the transfer station could reach Apaa Street in three to five days if lava continues to advance at its current rate. 

Also, lava continues to advance along a property off Cemetery Road where touched off a fire that burned down a house on Monday. Early Wednesday afternoon that lobe was about 400 to 500 yards from the nearest residence. 

Smoke conditions Wednesday morning were moderate to heavy. Light trade winds are blowing the smoke in a south-southwest direction towards Leilani Estates and Lower Puna areas.

Residents downwind of the lava flow with respiratory problems should take necessary precautions and remain indoors, Civil Defense officials said.

Pahoa Village Road between Apaa Street and the Post Office Road remains closed.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up