County of Hawaii - Flood Awareness

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Dec132017

Stop to Flood Zone Determination Requests

Stop to Flood Zone Determination Requests

Effective february 1, 2018, Countyof 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.

Where can I view the effective FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)?

There are several locations that the effective FEMA FIRMs are available.  They are:

  •          The State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Flood Hazard Assessment Tool (FHAT) website – http://gis.hawaiinfip.org/FHAT/.  We highly recommend that people use the FHAT website as it provides the quickest and easiest way to determine the effective FEMA flood zone.   A tutorial on the FHAT is available at http://dlnreng.hawaii.gov/nfip/floodmaps/.  Interested people will be able search a given property by location address or Tax Map Key.  Individual property flood reports can be downloaded and they contain all the information necessary for insurance purposes. 
  •          The County of Hawaii, Department of Public Works, Engineering Division office.  The hardcopy maps are available at our office.

Where can I view flood mapping studies which are not shown on the effective FEMA FIRM?

In addition to the effective FEMA FIRM, the County of Hawaii has several flood studies which have not yet been submitted to FEMA or are still in the FEMA review process.  Click here to view the list of properties designated within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) flood zone (zone A, AE, AH, AO, V, or VE) on any of these flood studies.  They are listed by Tax Map Key (TMK) and SFHA Flood Zone.  Because our Tax Map Key parcel layer is not entirely accurate, we have included a list which incorporates a 50’ buffer around the SFHA flood zone.  The statuses of these flood studies are shown below:

  •        Puna Flood Study – The Puna Flood Study covers It was intended to have been submitted to FEMA in 2015 as a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), however the County has postponed submission at this time.  This study falls under the County Advisory Flood Study Policy.  Therefore, this study shall be used for informational purposes only.  The properties affected by this study can be viewed in the above stated link.
  •         Keopu-Hienaloli Flood Study – The Keopu – Hienaloli Flood Study is located in the Kailua – Kona area and covers approximately 15 square miles.  This proposed flood study incorporated two main streams (Keopu and Hienaloli), extending about 4 miles upstream of Kailua Bay.  Currently, the area of study has effective FEMA FIRMs, so should this study be approved by FEMA, it would revise that section of the FIRM.  It was intended to have been submitted to FEMA in 2015 as a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), however the County has postponed submission at this time.  This study falls under the County Advisory Flood Study Policy.  Therefore, this study shall be used for informational purposes only.  The properties affected by this study can be viewed in the above stated link.  The Keopu – Hienaloli Flood Study
  •          Waiakea Flood Study (LOMR Case No. 17-09-1339P) – The Waiakea Flood Study is located in Hilo and includes the Waiakea and Upper Palai Streams.  This flood study was submitted to FEMA as a LOMR in March 2015.  There was a delay in FEMA’s review process due to the island-wide FIRM update which took effect on 09/29/17.  On 10/24/17, we were informed by FEMA that this LOMR was approved.  On 11/29/17, FEMA issued a LOMR Determination Document Letter which established that this LOMR will become effective on 04/12/2018.  Click here for the LOMR Determination Document.  The annotated FIRM is shown at the end of this document.  Since the issuance of the LOMR Determination Document, we have been regulating floodplain development with both this LOMR and the effective FIRM taken into consideration.The properties affected by this study can be viewed in the above stated link. 

In addition, there are four FEMA map revisions (2 Conditional Letter of Map Revisions (CLOMRs) and 2 LOMRs) that are currently in the FEMA review process, however they are not the same as the above stated flood studies.  The majority of these CLOMR and LOMR requests are done as part of a proposed subdivision, for a Federal or County flood control project improvement, or on behalf of an individual property owner.  Often times, the affected property owners are already aware of the FEMA map revision request prior to its submission to FEMA.  The affected property owners for the four FEMA map revisions currently under review were already been notified.  Below is the project name and case number of each of these FEMA map revisions.

CLOMRs in FEMA review

  •          Alii Drive Culvert – CLOMR Case No. 18-09-0316R
  •          Hilo Senior Living – CLOMR Case No. 17-09-0389R

LOMRs in FEMA review

  •          Waimea District Park – LOMR Case No. 17-09-1285P
  •          LOMR request for an individual property – Case No. has not been assigned yet

For more information, please contact Bryce Harada of the Department of Public Works, Engineering Division at (808) 961-8042.

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