(BIVN) – A couple whose Puna property was isolated by the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano demonstrated how they hike over the hardened lava flow to get home, like many others living in the same area.
Big Island Video News caught up with Larry and Linda Lani Morris on Friday as they equipped themselves with backpacks full of supplies and prepared to traverse the lava, en route to their 6-acre property on the other side.
Larry Morris says they were evacuated in May, and later the lava “totally surrounded our home and nine other homes.”
“It’s about a 50-acre kipuka in there,” Morris said, “and we were spared. This is how we get things in. I have been hiking in since day one. Now we can come up Pohoiki Road, we are working on getting our private access.”
Morris says he and his neighbors have been hiking in to stay at their properties for weeks at a time, and “a couple gentlemen are there for security purposes all the time,” he added.
Linda says the hike gets faster every time as she become familiar with the path. “You have to be careful and I still use a walking stick, but that’s just because my knees aren’t so young anymore,” she said, “but it’s it’s worth it because we built this. This is our last home. We used to live in Kona for like 29, 30 years and we took all our money and put it into this place and we have no other alternative. This is it. This is our retirement home.”
Larry said theirs is a “brand new home, one of the newest in the area.” The PV system works and the catchment system works, “so we’re all good to go.”
“We’re seeking the County’s help, and they’ve been helpful,” Larry said, “but we’re still not completely in our home yet, as many other people are not, also.”