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'Our neighborhood is gone,' said family who lost home to Hawaii volcano, moved to Utah

'Our neighborhood is gone,' said family who lost home to Hawaii volcano, moved to Utah. (Photo: Andersen family)

(KUTV) -- The last time the Andersen family saw their home on Hawaii’s Big Island, a lava flow was charging straight towards it.

Now, Kent Andersen is sure his home is buried in lava.

“It was fascinating, but it was frightening at the same time,” Andersen told 2News.

Kent and Julia Andersen are now staying with family members in Sevier County while they decide what to do next. Going back to their home in Hawaii isn’t an option

“If we go back we’d have to purchase a new piece of property and start all over,” Kent Andersen said.

Kent said in early May it was obvious volcanic activity in his neighborhood was imminent.

“When roads crack and stem tarts coming out of them, that’s an indication something’s coming,” Kent Andersen said.

Kent and Julia gathered their personal documents and important items and were ready to leave. When a lava flow charged straight for their neighborhood in Pahoa.

“Just behind our property is just started exploding,” Kent Andersen said.

Lava flows continue to advance through the area Thursday. Hawaiian authorities said the escape routes for some of the homes in the lava flow’s path could be blocked in the coming days.

From their temporary home in Utah, the Andersen’s grieve along with their friends and neighbors who remain in Hawaii.

A friend of the Andersen family fell from his home’s deck while evacuating and is now hospitalized in Hawaii.

The Andersen’s asked anyone who is able to help with a fundraiser for their friend to donate to the GoFundMe account.


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