Hawaii volcano evacuees, with Colorado ties, unsure when they’ll return home

DENVER – The conditions on Hawaii’s “Big Island” are getting worse as volcano eruption activity continues. Officials on Hawai’i Island told local media on Saturday one man was seriously injured after being hit with molten rock.

Robert Jamison and his wife Jan Patenaude, originally from Colorado, are still evacuated since FOX31 last spoke to the couple on May 7. Their home-- surrounded by dangerous air pollution-- is still standing near the lava flow. They’re currently staying in a safer part of the island with friends.

“Things are a little bit hectic,” Robert said. “There’s a lot of fear and speculation when you go into town. At night, the glow from the lava is absolutely surreal.”

Robert and Jan, who still live part-time in Colorado, say life-threatening sulfur dioxide is the main reason they can’t stay their neighborhood in Leilani Estates. Their current location offers the needed fresh air.

“We’re not really being affected by the sulfur dioxide or any of the gases from the volcano,” Robert explained.

The eruption is only affecting part of Hawai’i Island. Popular destinations like Maui, Kaua’i and Oahu have not been impacted.