HONOLULU – A growing lava stream threatening homes and inching closer to a rural road on Hawaii’s Big Island oozed forward in fits and starts this week, frustrating some residents but giving officials a window of time to prepare. The narrow, leading edge of the lava flow is now just 250 yards from the one-lane country road, which has been closed. Crews are working on an alternate route for remote communities in the Puna district in case the lava crosses a major thoroughfare. The lava sped up over the past few days, advancing nearly 460 yards from Thursday morning to Friday, but it slowed again Friday morning, officials said. The flow’s fitful nature is taking a toll on some Big Island residents, who got a brief reprieve from the advancing molten stream only to have to raise their guard again. “This stop-and-go – it’s going to be very frustrating for our residents,” said Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County Civil Defense. “It raises the anxiety level. It raises the concern.” On the other hand, the sporadic suspensions in activity gave emergency crews time to build another road and deal with a recent tropical storm that swept by the island, Oliveira said. Crews near the leading edge have been wrapping power poles with concrete rings as a layer of protection from the lava’s heat. More
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