East Hawaii News

DPW: Preliminary DFIRM Appeal Period Begins Feb. 9

February 3, 2016, 9:03 AM HST
* Updated February 4, 8:54 AM
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2013 Flooding in Waiakea Uka. File photo by Nate Gaddis.

2013 Flooding in Waiakea Uka. File photo by Nate Gaddis.

Last August, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps that include new flood zones and changes to existing flood zones along the Big Island’s coastal areas, along with the upper Waiakea area of Hilo, portions of Waimea, and North and South Kona.

The Hawai’i County Department of Public Works is reminding the public of the 90-day appeal period that begins on Feb. 9. Owners or lessees of property on the island who believe their property rights would be negatively affected by the proposed flood hazard determinations can appeal to the county.

An appeal would be based on information from a certified survey conducted by a licensed surveyor or a drainage study completed by a licensed civil engineer that would show that the proposed flood hazard determinations are scientifically or technically incorrect.

Appeals can be send to the DPW’s Engineering Division by April 26, and will be included in the Appeal Package the County will forward to FEMA for review.

FIRMS are used in various ways, including insurance ratings and regulation of development.

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The county is required to use the maps to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The program makes the county eligible for federal disaster aid, should a federally declared disaster take place. Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and heavy flooding that took place in 2000 are examples of situations where a federal declared disaster took place.

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New digital maps are intended to replace the existing paper maps, and will allow the maps to be easier to access.

To review digital copies of revised DFIRM and FIS report materials, visit the FEMA website. To learn more at the county level, visit the DPW website.

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