(ABOVE VIDEO) Lynn Beittel spends time in Pahoa village, where merchants wait to see what a slow moving but concerning lava flow will do next.
By Lynn Beittel, Visionary Video
PAHOA, Hawaii – On Monday, as the lava flow stalled in its advance towards Pahoa, Big Island Video News visited the town to see how residents and business owners are coping and preparing. The sun was shining, the air was clear, a group of boys performed tricks at the local skate park, and the internet café was busy. Life appeared normal, yet area residents are feeling a lot of anxiety.
Some shops have closed, but many of the restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and other stores are experiencing a welcomed boom in business. Rhythm guitarist and songwriter Jane Wiedlin from the band The Go Go’s was visiting from San Francisco. She and a friend were stopping by local businesses to spread a little money and aloha around town. We caught up with her at Jeff Hunt Surfboards.
The co-owner of the surf shop is longtime Pahoa booster Tiffany Edwards-Hunt. She owns the colorful building where the shop is located. Hunt says relocating is difficult because it is nearly impossible to find an affordable commercial alternative in either Puna or Hilo. Hunt feels lucky that her insurance provider has been supportive.
Over at Luquin’s Mexican Cantina, a waitress said that the well-known restaurant and bar will stay open as long as possible serving up platters of Mexican food and glasses of margaritas. Last weekend lines stretched out the door. When asked how Big Island residents can help Pahoa, locals had this advice.
While residents of the area continue to work and carry on daily activities, they are also planning for the future.