County of Hawaii - Flood Awareness

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News & Announcements


EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 2018, County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works, Engineering Division will no longer be processing Flood Zone Determination Requests.  

Why is the County of Hawaii no longer providing Flood Zone Determinations?

The reason the County of Hawaii is no longer providing Flood Zone Determinations is because the effective Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are now readily available online.  In an effort that took 10+ years, the FEMA FIRMs were finally digitized, updated, and made effective on 09/29/17.  This incorporated multiple flood mapping studies done around the island.

click here for more information



The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is at the end of a multi-year effort to update and modernize the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for Hawai‘i County.  The FIRM has been finalized and will become effective on September 29, 2017.  The opportunities to appeal the maps were over last year.  The FIRM will help community officials better identify known flood risks and will be used for flood insurance, land use, development, and regulatory purposes.  Use of the FIRM is required for the County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes the County eligible for federal disaster aid in the event of a federally declared natural disaster.

The main purpose of these informational public meetings is:

To inform property owners, residents, and interested parties about the impacts the final Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) will have on flood insurance.  It will help them make an informed decision about flood insurance options and flood protection measures.  The details on the two informational public meetings are shown below:



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Aupuni Center Conference Room

101 Pauahi St., Suite 1

Hilo, HI  96720

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

West Hawaii Civic Center, Bldg. G

75-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy.

Kailua Kona, HI  96740

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Doors open at 5:00 p.m.,

Two short formal presentations will starts at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The meetings will be an open house format with multiple stations

(The stations will discuss a structure’s particular flood zone, flood insurance, building criteria, etc.)


Personnel from FEMA, State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and Hawai‘i County will be available to answer questions, concerns, and provide information on flood insurance and property specific flood zone determinations.


The final FIRMs are currently available for viewing at the Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works Engineering offices at either 101 Pauahi St., Suite 7 in Hilo (808 961-8327) or 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy., Building D, 1st  floor of the West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kona (808 323-4850). They are also available for online viewing on the State of Hawai‘i’s Flood Hazard Assessment Tool (FHAT) at  To learn how to view the preliminary maps using the FHAT, click on the tutorial link provided on the Hawai‘i NFIP Website


Be advised that flood insurance rates will be based on the new flood data.  If a property is mapped into a high-risk area (an SFHA labeled with letters starting with “A” or “V”) on the new FIRM and the owner has a mortgage through a federally regulated or insured lender, flood insurance will be required when the FIRM becomes effective.  Property owners who obtain flood insurance before the FIRM becomes effective may be able to benefit from the NFIP’s “grandfathering” insurance rating process and pay a lower premium. 

Everyone is at some risk from flooding, even those behind levees or in low or medium-risk areas. Therefore, FEMA encourages everyone to purchase flood insurance.  Property owners should contact their insurance agent or visit for more information.

If you require special accommodations or auxiliary aid/ and or services to participate in this meeting, (i.e. Sign language interpreter, large print,) please call (808) 961-8321 by July 5, 2017.

For more information call Barett Otani, Department of Public Works Information and Education Specialist at (808) 961-8787.



HILO, January 23, 2017 - The County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works, in accordance with National Flood Insurance Program regulation 65.7(b)(1), hereby gives notice of the County of Hawaii’s intent to revise the flood hazard information, generally located between kahopea Street and Awapuhi Street along Palai Stream. The flood hazard revisions are being proposed as part of Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) Case No. 17-09-0389P, for a proposed project named Hilo Senior Living along the subject area of Palai Stream.  Engineering Partners, Inc. is proposing to revise the floodway along the subject area of Palai Stream as part of a project to create a building for commercial space and a housing development for senior assisted living.

Once the project has been completed, a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) request should be submitted that will, in part, revise the following flood hazards along the subject area of Palai Stream.  In addition to the revisions to the floodway, the base flood elevations (BFEs) will remain unchanged and/or decrease and the SFHA will increase and/or decrease along the subject area of Palai Stream.

Maps and detailed analysis of the revision can be reviewed at the County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works, Aupuni Center at 101 Pauahi St., Suite 7, Hilo, HI 96720.  Interested persons may call Bryce Harada at 961-8042 for additional information from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.