It's been just over a month since the storm. FEMA is declining to name the area a disaster area, and apparently, our state spent the hurricane fund. If people are carrying hurricane insurance, and it reads anything like mine, the fact that it was downgraded just before hitting shouldn't make a difference - my policy says any damage within 72 hours of a Hurricane warning declaration. I told my friend that, because she has roof damage and was a little dismayed - she didn't say whether she actually has the hurricane rider, though.
Now, there's a lava flow heading downhill. It's moving 300 yards a day, and it's getting pretty close to some homes, but these things are unpredictable. Some of the projections have the flow crossing the one highway that goes in and out of the area - even wiping out the main town down there. I read an article that says they are moving a police substation and some ambulances to what could be the "far side" of the flow, so there are police and paramedics if the community gets cut off. Somehow this feels a little ludicrous to me - the ambulances have a limited supply of medical equipment, and they won't be able to get to the hospital. I guess they could send in helicopters, though, and something is better than nothing.
The flow is relatively close, as the crow flies, to us, but it's downhill - because our roads situation here is a bit sparse, it takes nearly an hour to drive to where the flow is, but on the map, I was kind of surprised that it's not that far. The one good thing that might happen is that they are working to open old abandoned roads to make alternate routes - something sorely missing on this island. There are some old government roads down near the ocean that used to go straight to Hilo dating from the time they were building the Hilo Breakwater. We used to have a railroad on this island for the cane fields and for the supplies for the Breakwater. I wish will still had one. It came all the way up to my community, and the roads that ran along next to the track are still faintly marked on maps, but their largely gone.
Well, the next few weeks should be interesting. The mayor is making political hay over it - promising engineers right on the spot as soon as the flow crosses the road. What an engineer is going to do about an active lava flow, I do not know, but hey, okay. It's not like you can bulldoze fluid lava until it is well cooled. I don't blame him for giving the people down there hope - they've been through a rough time in the last 34 days.