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Big Island Property Owners Encouraged To Attend Informational Meetings on Preliminary FEMA Flood Maps

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and County of Hawai‘i are inviting Big Island residents and property owners to attend important upcoming public information meetings next week on changes in the new FEMA Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) for Hawai‘i County.

Flood Insurance

Click to view study

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is nearing the end of a multi-year effort to update and modernize the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for Hawai‘i County. The updated maps will help community officials and local residents better identify known flood risks and when finalized, will be used for flood insurance, land use and development decisions.

Flooding is one of the major natural disasters in the United States. These maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance options and flood protection measures.

The preliminary FIRM maps serve to revise and update information on the existence and severity of flood hazards in Hawai‘i County. The revised maps reflect the combined efforts of FEMA and Hawai‘i County.

The maps will be available for viewing beginning August 14 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 Keohokalole Hwy, Building D, 1st floor of the West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kona (808) 323-4850\. They will also be available for online viewing on the State of Hawai‘i’s Flood Hazard Assessment Tool (FHAT) at http://gis.hawaiinfip.org/fhat. To learn how to view the preliminary maps using the FHAT, click on the tutorial link provided on the Hawai‘i NFIP website www.hawaiinfip.org.

Personnel from FEMA, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Hawai‘i County will be available to answer questions, concerns, and provide information on the mapping timeline and appeals process. The meeting schedule is as follows:

Monday. August 17, 2015
Aupuni Center (101 Pauahi Street, Hilo 96720)
Doors open 4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. presentation 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
West Hawai‘i Civic Center (75-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Bldg. G, Kailua Kona 96740)
Doors open 4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. presentation 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Hilda to Swing South of the Big Island of Hawaii

Hurricane Hilda was downgraded to a Tropical Storm and now appears that it will go south of the Big Island of Hawaii missing the entire Hawaii chain of islands.
Hilda7

Volcanoes National Park Closures for Hilda

In anticipation of the heavy rain and wind forecast with the arrival of Hurricane Hilda, all backcountry areas in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be closed as of 5 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 12 until it is safe to reopen them. No backcountry permits will be issued until park staff reassess the storm’s impact.
Hilda6
In addition, Mauna Loa Road from Kīpukapuaulu to the Mauna Loa Lookout, and Nāmakanipaio Campgrounds and A-frame cabins, will close as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Much of the park will remain open, including Jaggar Museum, Kīlauea Visitor Center, restrooms, lava tube, front-country trails, steam vents, and other popular features. Visitors should be prepared for heavy rain and wind.

Park staff will continue to monitor the storm and assess conditions in the park. The public will be kept informed via news releases, social media, and the park website, nps.gov/havo.