Big Island families who have seen Kilauea's destructive power firsthand are keeping a close eye on the latest flow that began this weekend. The flow is about two miles away from the remote Royal Gardens subdivision. Property owners estimate only about five people live in the community off and on. Roads in the area are buried under lava so people have to hike just to get to the neighborhood.

When Kilauea first erupted in 1983, residents of the subdivision found themselves in Pele's path. Over the years, several different flows devastated the community. Homes were destroyed. Roads were covered. Residents had to evacuate several times.

"Finally I would just take my toothbrush and hope that the house would still be there," recalled former resident Coco Pierson.

Pierson's home was spared. The lava stopped just 12 feet away. He still owns the property, but like most people he moved out once it became tough to get in and out of the area.

"You would hike across new or old lava flows and hope that the vehicle you left inside was still there and hadn't been covered by lava," said Pierson.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials flew over the eruption site and nearby neighborhood on Monday.

"You can see volume coming out of there, but it's ponding kind of up at the top ... so it was not moving downslope at this time," explained Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator Troy Kindred.

Scientists set up a webcam to help them monitor the activity. Authorities want to reassure residents that their homes are safe for now.

"We're definitely concerned. We always are any time an event like this happens with a possible new direction the lava may go," said Kindred. "But we feel that we're monitoring it 24 hours a day."

"Their idea of what a threat is - is different from mine," said Pierson. "Obviously, it's on a course that's going to take it in that general area. If it stays in an area long enough, it eventually eats everything."

Kindred said it looked like only a couple of homes were being used. Civil defense officials will continue to work with scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and conduct flyovers when necessary.