The explosion on Big Island has now been ongoing for more than a month, and has destroyed hundreds of buildings.
Gary Braun is one of hundreds of property owners across the island assessing the damage to his home and business.
His flower farm has been destroyed, and his wife also lost a holiday rental.
Mr Braun said: “Hawaii probably lost half of the state’s cut flower orchid population in four days.
“We just didn’t believe it would happen.
“We were there for so long and we were so established.”
Another couple who were forced from their rental home say watching the destruction of the island has been “incredibly emotional”.
They added: “I’ve seen this incredible bay and area that we love and was dear to our hearts change within hours.
“Not even days.
“It’s been incredibly emotional.
“She’s covered so much ground so fast, I don’t know what Madame Pele’s ideas are, but she changed a really pretty place.”
Big Island Mayor Harry Kim has been offering advice and support to residents, hours after his own home was destroyed by the lava.
At a community meeting on Tuesday evening, he gave his constituents some words of encouragement.
He said: “In the darkest of times, I asked you to stick with us; together, all of us, as a community.
“If we have the will, we will make it better.
“Hang in people, we’ll get it done.”
Despite the destruction, the US Geological Survey (USGS) say the eruption could carry on for some time.
USGS scientist Wendy Stovall said lava and fissures activity is showing no signs of slowing down.
She said: “We don’t see any changes occurring.”
Roughly 2,000 people have been evacuated since eruptions started on May 3.
Hawaii’s most volatile volcano has been in near constant eruption for 35 years, but its recent activity is its most serious eruption for several years and is making increasing numbers of people homeless.