Flow continues NE path

The June 27 lava flow kept to its northeastern path Tuesday as it skirted the edge of Kaohe Homesteads.

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The June 27 lava flow kept to its northeastern path Tuesday as it skirted the edge of Kaohe Homesteads.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said an overflight that morning showed the flow had advanced 270 yards since Monday.

The flow is slowing and widening as it reaches less steep terrain, according to U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists. No homes are currently threatened as the flow is advancing through vacant forested lots.

The flow is expected to reach Pahoa Village Road within approximately 18 days and Apaa Road in about two weeks.

It was about 100 yards wide at its leading edge Tuesday, according to Civil Defense. On Monday, the flow was about 600 yards at its widest point.

Jim Kauahikaua, HVO scientist-in-charge, said widening of the flow is expected, though it remains to be seen how wide it will be if it reaches Pahoa.

“It’s a really steady slope in there,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to pond or anything. It still could be hidden in the trees.”

The Pahoa transfer station is potentially one of the first areas the flow could reach. Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, county Environmental Management director, said she is looking for a temporary site for the transfer station.

Construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130 is on hold because of the flow, according to the state Department of Transportation. The $4.8 million project was expected to start in October.

The Pahoa District Park project also is on hold. Equipment working on the park expansion has been diverted to build alternate routes should lava reach the highway.

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The next community meeting about the flow is slated for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pahoa High School cafeteria.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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