Big Island couple lost their dream farm in Pele's path
Big Island Mayor Harry Kim says lava has destroyed about 500 homes in just three days.
Big Island Mayor Harry Kim says lava has destroyed about 500 homes in just three days. Lava took out 160 homes in Vacationland.
Out of 350 homes in Kapoho Beach Lots, the mayor says only about 30 are left.
Lava is still flowing into the ocean, sending plume of laze thousands of feet into the sky and poisonous gases and fine particles of glass are drifting downwind.
There used to be homes, farmland and forests, now Kapoho and Vacationland is a lava field.
"We lost our home-place, which was our farm; a lot of trees, avocados and limes," Diane Huleskamp said.
Huleskamp says she and her husband planted every one of those tree's by seed. Their dream farm they spent decades tending to was right in Pele's path.
"I said if I could sum it up, I'd be a pack mule. And the reason for that, is they say you'll not be given more than you can handle, and I said man, I must be one heck of a pack mule because boy the load gets heavier and heavier each time," Huleskamp said.
That heavy load of loss is almost too much to handle. Huleskamp's husband is also fighting stage four Cancer.
"We were in chemo and someone was trying to help us get our tractors out, but my husband was in chemo and we couldn't do it because you have to have your special credentials and stuff," Huleskamp said.
Huleskamp, her husband and their four farm dogs are staying at a friend's house in Keaau. Despite this disaster, her spirit is remarkably strong.
"There are people out there to help you and encourage you and just stay strong and keep advancing and you have to keep on going and don't give up, just don't give up," Huleskamp said.
That woman is one of the many people we've seen and spoken to here in Lower Puna who refuse to give up hope.