• 27 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Closures, Lava Reports, news

    Lava has been progressing slowly all day–Hawaii Volcano Observatory reported at 5:30 that it had been moving at the rate of 8-11 yards per hour today, but Civil Defence reported at 7 p.m. that it had been advancing 5-10 yards per hour since 2:40. The flow has spend most of the day in pastureland and woods, but as of 7 p.m. it was about 70 yards from the nearest residence.  If the flow continues at its rate of  this afternoon, it could be parallel to or on top of the nearest residence before dawn.

    The closure of Old Government Road (Pahoa Village Road) between Apa`a St. and  Post Office Road has prompted the County’ s Hele On Bus to abandon Old Government Road and downtown Pahoa entirely, providing no service along its former stops between Long’s Drugs and Pahoa High/Intermediate School.   New stops have been established along Highway 130 at the Pahoa Police/Fire station, Malama Market and the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences, and on Highway 132 at the New Hope Church Sign.

    More on what’s open and what’s not:

    Keonepoku Elementary School will close indefinitely on Wednesday, Nov. 29, and the entire school will be moved to temporary facility at Kea’au High School.  School will be canceled at Pahoa High & Intermediate, Pahoa Elementary, Kea‘au High and Kea‘au Middle beginning on Thursday, October 30, in order to “allow administrators, faculty and staff from those schools to help with administrative work and prepare for the transition of students affected by the move.”  Secondary students who live on the Kea’au side of the flow and currently attend Pahoa High and Intermediate will report to Kea’au High School or Kea’au Intermediate School on November 7;  school will resume for the remaining students on November 10. Keonepoku and Hilo Primary School students living on the Kea’au side of the flow will also report to their new school, dubbed Keonepoku North, on November 10.  The Chronicle will have a more complete report on the school situation tomorrow.

    A sign at Ning’s Thai Restaurant in downtown Pahoa said that it was closed while the owners were on vacation in Thailand.


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  • 27 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    Due to the closure of Old Government Road between Apa`a Street and Old Government Road, police have designated the Post Office Road as a one-way street exiting the town. The only way into Downtown Pahoa, for now, is via the bypass and the makai end of Old Government Road. Puna Style is closed, as are both of the town’s Thai restaurants but most of the restaurants and many other businesses in downtown Pahoa are still open. Pahoa Home Video is reportedly moving into Sukothai’s former location.

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  • 27 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Closures, Lava Reports, news

    As of 7:30 a.m, the lava was approaching Old Government Road in Pahoa between Post Office Road and Apa`a Street.  That section of the road has been closed to all but residents.  The flow has advanced about 275 yards since yesterday, cutting completely through the cemetery, and is advancing at the rate of approximately 10-15 yards per hour. It is now about 100 yards from the nearest residence.  Smoke conditions are described as “light to moderate,” but those with respiratory conditions may need to leave the area.

    According to a Hawaii Volcano Observatory report yesterday evening,


    “The relatively narrow finger of lava that crossed Apa?a Street yesterday morning continued to travel downslope, splitting into two lobes as it advanced. The faster, northern lobe crossed completely through the P?hoa cemetery by mid-morning, while the slower southern lobe was advancing through open pasture south of the cemetery. Another lobe farther upslope, just above Apa?a Street, advanced about 50 meters (55 yards) since yesterday (Saturday, Oct. 25.) …. As of 5 p.m., the faster-moving finger was about 390 meters (425 yards) downslope of Apa?a Street and 660 meters (720 yards) upslope from P?hoa Village Road. It had an average width of about 40 m (45 yd). The slightly slower-moving southern lobe in the pasture south of the cemetery reached slightly steeper terrain at mid-afternoon today, and was traveling at about 9 meters per hour (10 yards per hour) at 5 PM. It will likely rejoin with the finger that came through the cemetery near the northeast end of the pasture.”

    In its report this morning at 8:45, HVO said the flow had slowed during the night toless than two meter  (2.2 yards) per hour from 2:30 am to 7:30, but “is expected to pick up some speed today as it traverses slightly steeper terrain.”

    Lava flow prediction  involves a huge chaos factor, but HVO’s best guess last night was  that the flow’s most likely path would take it down a course through a pasture “mid-way between the cemetery and P?hoa Village Road.” HVO will issue an updated report later this morning.  It did not revise that prediction this morning.

    Civil defense workers are going door-to-door, notifying residents in the immediate path of the flow to evacuate.  The Red Cross has opened a shelter for evacuees at the Sure Foundation Church at 16-1592 Pohaku Circle in Orchidland Estates.

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  • 27 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    Old Government Road, a.k.a. Pahoa Village Road, has been closed due to impending lava inundation.  The official Civil Defense Announcement, as of last night, October 26, at 9:30 p.m.:

    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, P?hoa Village road will be closed from  Apa?a 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.

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  • 26 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    The lava flow entered the cemetery above Pahoa this morning and continues its advance at the rate of about  approximately 10 yards an hour, generating “light to moderate” smoke.

    “There appears to be an area of slightly steeper slope just below the cemetery and higher advance rates are possible if the flow reaches that point. ,”  Hawaii Volcano Observatory reported this morning. HVO scientists estimated that the flow was approximately 150 yards wide, though the width varies with the terrain. Ironically, there was an unintentional man-made diversion of the flow, according to HVO:  “The flow was deflected away from the steepest-descent line it had been generally following, and toward the cemetery, by an old man-made cane-field berm just above Apa?a Street. The flow is now advancing downslope between two intersecting steepest-descent paths and will likely return to the original steepest-descent path about 300 m (330 yd) upslope from P?hoa Village Rd.

    The un-inundated portions Apa`a and Cemetery roads  remain closed, though an ABC camera crew apparently entered the area illegally to obtain footage yesterday.

    Civil Defense representatives are going door to door down-slope from the flow, issuing notices to evacuate within the next three to five days. Those with respiratory problems may wish to leave sooner.

    Residents should note that the predicted path of the flow is just that: a prediction, as subject to change as a hurricane prediction.  Lava does not always flow downhill like water; it can build its own dykes,  melt its own channels, and sometimes cut its way down to lava tubes below the surface.  Breakouts can also occur up-slope, so residents should not assume that the flow has passed them by.

    HVO scientists are currently monitoring the flow front and will issue a status update this afternoon.


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  • 25 Oct 2014 /  Closures, Lava Reports, news, Uncategorized

    As of two p.m., the lava flow had advanced another 70 yards since 6:30 this morning, headed northeastward toward the cemetery after crossing Apa`a Street early this morning. It appears to be missing the transfer station for now, but the station will remain closed due to possible hazards from smoke and fumes.  The new temporary transfer station is open and operational on Kaohe Road.  Civil Defense has issued an evacuation notice , advising residents in the flow’s path to “complete all necessary preparations for a possible evacuation by Tuesday October 28th.

    “Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road will remain 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,’ noted the agency’s 2 p.m. bulletin

    The Chronicle will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.


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  • 25 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    The lava flow has officially met civilization.  According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, it crossed Apa`a St. shortly before 4 a.m., and continues to advance toward the northeast, approaching the cemetery, at the rate of about ten yards per hour.

    “Civil Defense and Public Safety personnel will be conducting door to door notifications of residents in the down slope areas of Pahoa Village to insure residents are aware of current activities.  Based on the current flow location, direction and advancement, residents in the flow path will be placed on an evacuation notice,” according to Civil Defense’s morning report.  “The evacuation notice means residents in the flow path areas should prepare for possible evacuation in the next three to five days.  Those area residents will be kept informed of the flow movement and are asked to complete all necessary preparations for a possible evacuation by Tuesday October 28th.

    The Chronicle will continue to provide updates as events develop.


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  • 24 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Closures, Lava Reports, news

    After a long, start-and-stop march in which lava was several times predicted to be with a few days of reaching Pahoa, Madame Pele finally stands on the brink of civilization. According to County Civil Defense, the flow advanced 300 yards yesterday, putting it within 250 yards of the Apa`a Street area near the Pahoa Transfer Station. The recycling tent has already been removed from the station, and recycling services ended at noon today; the station itself is expected to close at the end of the business day today.  According to a press release from the County’s Department of Environmental Management, the county has already selected a new temporary site for the transfer station on Kauhele Road above the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, which will be open tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 25 at 6 a.m., accepting residential refuse, mixed recycling, white goods/scrap metal, green waste and Hi5 cans and reusable items.
    In a Facebook exchange with an area homeowner, Department of Environmental Management head Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd noted that the new site was a temporary emergency measure while the county negotiated for a new permanent site. The county already owns the land at the Kauhele Road site.
    Civil Defense officials will be conducting door to door notifications of residents in the down slope areas of Pahoa Village to insure residents are aware of current activities,”  but no evacuation notice is in effect for now. “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,” noted County Civil Defense’s latest update on the situation.
    Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road remain closed between the Pahoa Transfer Station and the Kaohe Homesteads Road.

    gif below courtesy of REEL Marketing

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  • 23 Oct 2014 /  Lava Reports, news

    From Hawaii County Civil Defense:

    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.

    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.

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  • 22 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane, news

    From Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s latest report:

    A Civil Defense overflight this morning found that the breakout that has been advancing about 80 m (90 yd) per day along the southeast edge of the flow since early last week has overtaken the former leading edge of the flow. The former flow tip also advanced about 20 m (25 yd). Civil Defense reports little burning, however, south winds were carrying smoke and vog to lower Puna and Hilo. HVO geologists will conduct investigations of the leading edges of the flow on foot today.

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  • 21 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news
    From the National Park Service:

    Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Work begins Friday, October 24 on an emergency access route between Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Kalapana along the historic Chain of Craters Road-Kalapana alignment, from the park side.

    The half-mile section of paved road that pedestrians use to access the lava that covered it in 2003 will be closed as of Friday. The popular “Road Closed” sign enrobed in lava will be removed to become part of park history. Other closures include the historic flows and coastal area alongside the construction.

    H?lei Sea Arch, the turnaround, bathrooms, and concession stand near the turnaround will remain open.

    Motorists can expect traffic delays early Thursday and Friday mornings as large bulldozers and heavy equipment are transported from the summit of K?lauea down the 19-mile stretch of Chain of Craters Road to the turnaround.

    “We intend to reopen the closed area as soon as it is safe to do so and the bulldozers move closer to Kalapana,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “But now is the time to take those last photos of the iconic ‘Road Closed’ sign before it is removed on Friday,” she said.

    Last week, bulldozers from the Kalapana side graded the 2.2-mile portion of Highway 130 covered in lava to where it meets the park boundary and becomes Chain of Craters Road. This week, crews start to grade the 5.4 miles through the park to the Kalapana boundary. The work is being done by the County of Hawai‘i, and overseen by the National Park Service and Federal Highways Administration.

    Opened in 1965, Chain of Craters Road has been covered and blocked by lava for 37 years of its 49-year existence.

    The emergency route is being built to assist residents of lower Puna, whose access to the rest of the island would be cut off if lava from K?lauea Volcano’s June 27 flow reaches the ocean.

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  • 21 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    From Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s report this morning:

    A Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight yesterday afternoon found that the flow had moved no closer to Apa?a St/Cemetery Rd over the weekend, but the flow front had widened and small breakouts were scattered across the flow from right at the front up to about 2 km (1.2 mi) upslope. One of these breakouts was a narrow lobe that has been advancing along the southeast edge of the flow since early last week, moving about 80 m (90 yd) per day on average. This lobe was a day or two away from overtaking the tip of the flow, if it keeps moving. The only other breakouts observed on the flow were mid-way along its length, in the area where lava first entered cracks on August 18. There, activity was relatively weak and was focused along a narrow finger of lava has been moving toward the east within a shallow graben for the last few weeks. It intersected an older part of the flow within the crack system over the weekend. No other active surface flows were observed in this area.


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  • 19 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane, news

    It’s the storm that just won’t go away.  The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for parts of East Hawaii, because of a “nearly stationary” band of heavy rain. The advisory includes, “but is not limited to,” Hilo Pepe`eke`o, O`okala and Hawaiian Paradise Park.  Residents are advised to stay away from streams, drainage channels and low-lying areas.  Driving may be hazardous do do ponding on roadways.  The advisory is scheduled until 10:15 a.m., but may be extended if the rain doesn’t move on.

    Hurricane Ana’ center remains due south of  Kauai, which is under a tropical storm warning, but the satellite image still shows clouds  blanketing the nearly the entire state. A hurricane watch is in effect for all of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.


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  • 18 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Hurricane, news

    The Island of Hawai`i is now on the backside of Hurricane Ana, but rain continues to fall and more thunderstorms may occur between now and this evening. The heaviest impacts of the storm have been felt in the Ka`u district, with rainfall averages of 4-8 inches.  Wind gusts of 45 mph have been recorded, especially in the Ocean View, South Point and the Saddle area, and gusts of up to 50 mph may occur in the vicinity of thunderstorms. So far, the record rainfall for the storm comes from a station on Mauna Loa above Kilauea, where 11.2 inches have been recorded. A flash flood warning is in effect originally scheduled to expire at 3 p.m. and has been  extended to 6 p.m. The storm is moving relatively slowly–only about 10 mph–which is extending its stay on the island.
    The storm remains a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and gusts of up to 92 mph. But the core, where the winds are strongest, passed south of the island and is expected also miss the other main islands, though Kaui may still be at risk. The eye of the storm is currently south of O`ahu, and Maui and Honolulu counties are experiencing some rain, wind and surf impact from the storm, with impacts expected to begin shortly on Kauai.Satellite Images for ANA

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  • 17 Oct 2014 /  Uncategorized

    Ana has increased in strength from tropical storm to hurricane, with maximum winds of around 80 miles per hour, but the eye of the storm is passing south of the Big Island.   The storm center is currently about 230 miles south of Hilo. Even so, the island can expect some impacts.  Chris Brenchley of the National Weather Service said residents on the southeast and south sides of the island could expect waves of 10 to 20 feet, and low-lying areas could experience an additional storm surge of one to two feet. “Conditions on the far south end of the Big Island have begun to show the first effects,” of the storm, said Brenchley, with reported 12-foot surf along the southeast side of the island. Reports of gusts as much as 40 mph in the exposed areas around South Point have been reported, despite the storm’s southerly course.
    A flash flood watch began at noon today, and will continue until Sunday evening. Two to eight inches of rain are expected, with up to12 inches in some areas. The heaviest rainfall will probably occur in upland areas of Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The first Ana-related precipitation is expected to reach the island in the next 6-12 hours. Brenchley said the maximum impacts of the storm in Kona would be felt in the late this evening and overnight, with the storm reaching its closes proximity in the early morning.Satellite Images for ANA

  • 17 Oct 2014 /  BULLETINS, Lava Reports, news

    From Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s Oct. 17 report:

    The June 27th lava flow remains active. This morning’s overflight determined that the flow front advanced only about 50 m (55 yd) since October 15. Small breakouts are scattered across the surface and along the edges of the flow as far as about 2 km (1.2 miles) upslope of the front. The breakouts are widening the overall flow; flow width is 600 m (655 yd) about 1.3 km (0.8 mi) upslope. The flow front is still about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from Apa?a St/Cemetery Rd, as measured along the steepest-descent line that the flow has been following.

    A few breakouts are also active roughly mid-way along the length of the flow, just upslope from the area where lava enters and travels within ground cracks. One such breakout advanced eastward 215 m (235 yd) in the past 2 days to form a narrow flow about 35 m (38 yd) wide parallel to the crack system. Breakouts have persisted in this area for several weeks, but the number of breakouts and overall level of activity has fallen over the past week.

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