Shelter that housed hundreds of eruption evacuees closes after four months

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An emergency shelter in Pahoa that housed hundreds of evacuees displaced by Kilauea’s latest volcanic eruption is now closed.

The Pahoa Emergency Evacuation Shelter opened at the Pahoa Community Center on May 3 and ceased operations at 10:29 a.m. Monday, Sept. 17, when the last of the evacuees left.

At its peak, the shelter housed more than 550 evacuees.

“This has been the longest running emergency shelter in the history of Hawaii, and we will have been in operation for 138 days on Sept. 17, 2018. I want to thank all of the shelter workers and the support provided from healthcare and mental health professionals who worked behind the scenes in providing a safe, caring and healthy environment for the evacuees,” said Roxcie Waltjen, director of the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation.

It’ll still be a couple of weeks before the pool reopens to the public, and possibly longer for other areas of the center, which still need to undergo repairs.

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