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Family moved to Hawaii days before volcano erupted

The Parr family had one dream: move from Santa Cruz, California, to Hawaii and live a simpler life.The family ...

Posted: May 26, 2018 10:16 AM
Updated: May 26, 2018 10:16 AM

The Parr family had one dream: move from Santa Cruz, California, to Hawaii and live a simpler life.

The family made the leap over the Pacific Ocean by selling their house in Santa Cruz and moving onto a macadamia nut farmon Hawaii's Big Island near Pahoa.

Days later, earthquakes began rumbling, lava bubbled up through cracks, and the Kilauea volcano erupted.

Their new home was destroyed.

Jon Parr, who owns an aquaponics consulting business, spent the past decade preparing to move his family to Hawaii.

"It closed escrow just two weeks before the eruption. So we had lived there precisely two weeks," Parr said.

In the days after moving in, Parr returned to the mainland for work. But his wife, Zusje, was still in Pahoa. Following the quakes, came the cracks. Zusje and their youngest son were given just hours to evacuate their new home in Lanipuna Gardens near Leilani estates. With no place to go on the island, the Parrs moved back to a rental house in Monterey.

From California, the family watched on television as lava consumed their dream house.

"My mom was having a really hard time, so that has kind of been the hardest part, is just watching my parents have a hard time with losing everything," said the Parr's eldest son, T.J. Parr.

The family paid cash for the property buying the farm in a foreclosure sale. They then spent the rest of their savings making the home and rental unit livable.

"It caught us at the bottom, I mean from the top of the game when the dream's come true, to the bottom," said Parr.

The Parrs have a homeowners policy but the damage isn't covered. The property sits in Lava Zone 1 where it is almost impossible to get lava insurance. The Parrs had secured a policy with lava coverage but per the fine print it doesn't kick in for another six months.

Jon Parr said he knew buying a house in Pahoa was a risk but his house was built in 1908 and sits on a ridge. He thought they'd be okay unless a fissure opened right beneath the property.

Fissure No. 20, the most voluminous of the fissures currently spewing lava, opened about 200 feet from his home.

"We kind of figured it would be like taking a walk while there was a storm outside, you could get hit by lightening but you probably won't, and until you get hit by lightening you never think it will happen to you," he said.

The family eventually wants to try again in Hawaii. Friends and family of the Parrs have started a Go Fund Me account to help with the financial losses. As of Thursday, the Go Fund Me page had raised more than $18,000.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20931250
Hinds19961410
Harrison17562303
Rankin13369277
Jackson13156243
Madison9950212
Lee9890170
Jones8310161
Forrest7542148
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Washington5291133
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Pearl River4437141
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Pontotoc417572
Monroe4062132
Union404675
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Lincoln3886109
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Tate325384
Pike3215105
Scott311472
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Clarke177776
Tallahatchie176140
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Yalobusha160136
Smith159334
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126534
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
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Webster113832
Jefferson Davis105532
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Franklin82923
Quitman78916
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Wilkinson65128
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
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Lee15589165
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St. Clair9463234
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Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
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Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
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Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
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Conecuh109428
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Sumter103232
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Columbus
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Some spotty showers will move through our area this morning but should clear out by the afternoon. We should see some breaks in the clouds and temperatures reaching the mid to upper 60s.
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