County of Hawaii - Flood Awareness

Skip to content    Text size: Larger  /  Smaller  /  Reset
County of Hawaii seal
TWITTER
Main
Tuesday
Jul282015

FLOODPLAIN MAPPING – The Basics

What is a floodplain and how do I see a map?

FEMA defines a “Floodplain” as any land area susceptible to flood water inundation from any source. Floodplains shown on FEMA’s FIRMs are called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), which are 1-percent chance Floodplains. The FIRMs determine the flood hazard/risk to your home or business. The areas outside the SFHAs posing a moderate to low flood risk are labeled on FIRMs as Zone “X.” SFHAs posing a high flood risk are labeled on the FIRMs as Zone “A,” “AE,” “AO” or “AH.” SFHAs along the coastal areas posing a high flood risk due to waves are designated on the FIRMs as Zone “VE.” The Study does not include analyses of coastal area flood hazard/risk.  Links to the Study’s 35 FIRMs are provided below, and the Study and Study's FIRMs are also available at the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) Offices in Hilo at 101 Pauahi Street Ste 7. Office hours are weekdays, excluding holidays 7:45 AM -4:30 PM.

How will the new FIRMs affect me under National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?

DPW administers Hawaii County Code (HCC) Chapter 27 Floodplain Management regulations whose purpose is to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare, and minimize public and private losses due to flooding conditions, within SFHAs determine from FIRMs and/or best available flood hazard data. In July 2014 and within the Study’s SFHAs (refer to item 2 above), the County began enforcing Floodplain Management regulatory standards for new structures and existing structures that are substantially improved and/or damaged. Mandatory flood insurance for federally regulated or back mortgages will not be required until FEMA publishes and makes effective the Study’s FIRMs.

My structure is incorrectly mapped, how do I correct this?

After the Study’s FIRMs are published and made effective by FEMA and you disagree with the mapping of your structure, you may apply for a FEMA Letter of Map Change (LOMC). FEMA’s LOMC application process includes, in part, the following: Letter of Determination Review; a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA); electronic LOMA or eLOMA; Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill, whichever is applicable. Information on the LOMC application process is available at FEMA’s webpages: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-flood-hazard-mapping/letter-map-change, orhttps://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/7362