South Kona Property Owners Receive Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Last week the County of Hawai‘i, Department of Public Works sent letters to South Kona property owners with tax map keys 8-4-004, 8-4-006, 8-4-008, 8-4-011, 8-4-012, 8-4-014, and 8-4-015 informing them of the Preliminary Flood Insurance Study (FIS).

The preliminary FIS analyzed the 10% (10-year), 4% (25-year), 2% (50-year), 1% (100-year), and 0.2% (500-year) chance of flooding events, or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) boundaries, and the Base Flood Elevations (BFE) in Hōnaunau, Keōkea and a small section of Kiilae.

The County of Hawai‘i will use the results of the study to amend FEMA’s FIS and Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

There are two phases to the study.  Phase 1 is for watercourses 13-20 affecting property owners in the tax map keys mentioned.  Residents along watercourses 1-12 and 21-25 are in phase 2 and will receive notices before the end of summer.

For structures in a Zone AE Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), flood insurance is mandatory for buildings with mortgages back by the federal government.  For structures in Zone X (outside of the SFHA), flood insurance is suggested but is not mandatory.

Preferred Risk

FEMA is offering a “Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension,” a lower cost insurance rate for properties recently mapped into high-risk flood zones on or after October 1, 2008 information here:

“Property owners currently paying flood insurance may find their property is no longer in a flood zone.  Others may find they are in a flood zone, “said Warren Lee, director for the Department of Public Works. “If the property is in a flood zone, we highly recommend purchasing flood insurance and taking advantage of the County’s ten percent (10) discount.

Owners who believe their property is not in the Special Flood Hazard Area, (SFHA) may contact Frank DeMarco (961-8042) the County of Hawai‘i Floodplain Manager or Carter Romero (961-8943) at the Department of Public Works Engineers’ division in Hilo, weekdays, from 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  Maps are also available Engineers’ office in the West Hawai‘i Civic Center.

FEMA offers an online tutorial to walk the applicant through the stages to have a property removed from a SFHA. Click


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