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Molokai Flood Zone Changes Presented on Monday

County of Maui News Release

Important information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) new digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs) will be highlighted at public meetings being held on Molokai Monday, Sept. 8. The meeting is from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Dept. of Hawaiian Homelands, with a presentation at 3 p.m.

For Molokai, the revised DFIRMs reflect the integration of the 2008 statewide hurricane study, which affects properties on the south shore of Molokai, as well as the decertification of the Kaunakakai levee system.

Personnel from FEMA, the County of Maui and the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will provide a short presentation and take questions on the new flood maps and insurance ramifications.

Residents can view the preliminary map revisions, understand how their properties may be affected and learn about financial steps they may take to protect their investment and potentially help a property owner save money on required flood insurance coverage.

Property owners are urged to attend these meetings to get the latest information on how the flood map changes, scheduled to take effect in Fall 2015, will affect them. The public may view the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DIRMs) by visiting the Hawaii Flood Hazard Assessment Tool website, gis.hawaiinfip.org/fhat/.

When the new DFIRMs are adopted for the islands of Maui and Molokai, a property’s flood risk may change and consequently so will the requirement for federally mandated flood insurance, as well as construction standards. Flood insurance protects property owners from the financial devastation caused by floods which includes losses to buildings and their contents. The coverage applies whether the flooding results from heavy or prolonged rains, coastal storm surge, tsunamis, blocked storm drainage systems, levee dam failure, or other causes. Different types of policies are available depending on your flood risk.

If you live in a high-risk area, flood zones A and V, you will need a Standard Policy. Most mortgage lenders will require that such a policy before they will approve your loan. Additionally, anyone whose property is mapped into a high-risk flood zone and has a federally-backed mortgage will be mandated to obtain a flood insurance policy.

For those outside of the high-risk area, zones X or XS, flood insurance is also available, usually at a lower cost. A Preferred Risk Policy can cover both a home and its contents. While you are not federally mandated to have flood insurance in a low-to-moderate risk area, it does not mean that you will never need it. Large floods often extend beyond the boundaries of high-risk areas and smaller floods occur outside high-risk areas as well. In fact, statistics show that a quarter of all flood insurance claims come from properties located in low-to-moderate risk areas.

For more information, please contact Avelina Cabais, Paul Critchlow, or Carolyn Cortez at the County of Maui Department of Planning, at (808) 270-7253. For general Planning information, visit mauicounty.gov/Planning.

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