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Greene County man living in Hawaii will take threat of volcano eruption over tornadoes

NEAR MANUA LOA, Hawaii — For the second time since Doug Eck and his wife relocated from Greene County to Hawaii after he retired from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a major volcano has erupted.

This time, the world’s largest volcano -- Mauna Loa -- is sending fountains of lava about 10 feet into the air in the first such eruption in four decades.

>> RELATED: Lava from Hawaii’s volcano lights night sky

Eck and his wife live in the Kona District, about 30 miles from Mauna Loa. They’ve traveled to the coast at least twice since the eruption to snap images of the lava.

The former state patrol lieutenant told News Center 7′s Gabrielle Enright that although everyone on the island is aware of what’s happening, evacuation plans in place and the lava flow is being monitored - no one is going anywhere because the lava path is headed for a remote area of the island.

“It’s pretty exciting right now,” Eck said. “Everyone is excited. It’s pretty spectacular to experience and it’s happening in an area that’s not going to impact people.”

An estimated 700 homes were in the path of Kilauea when it erupted in 2018.

>> RELATED: What hazards are posed by Hawaii’s Mauna Loa?

Eck said if the flow changes and evacuations become necessary, people will move to shelters on the opposite side of the island.

He also said that after living in Ohio his whole life until the relocation, he would rather live with the threat of volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis than deal with the severe weather and tornadoes that visit Ohio.