By TGI Staff on 19 August 2009, in The Garden Island -
http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2009/08/19/news/kauai_news/doc4a8bb586f3ce0110012260.txt) image above: Kauai PWD using large backhoe to strip vegetation off back side of eroding and damaged Hanapepe levee. Why do they continue this and application of herbicides? Photo by Juan Wilson. WHERE:
Kalaheo Neighborhood Center
Wednesday, August 26
Presented by the Department of Public Works
Information on the preliminary digital flood insurance rate maps that were recently developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be discussed at upcoming open houses around the state, a press release from the county Department of Public Works states. On Kaua‘i, the DFIRM open houses are scheduled as follows: — Aug. 25: Kapa‘a Neighborhood Center, 2 to 7 p.m. — Aug. 26: Kalaheo Neighborhood Center, 2 to 7 p.m. Property owners are urged to attend these events to get the latest information on the consequences of the flood map changes and the options that are available to those whose homes will be designated in a flood zone. Formal presentations on the changes will be made by FEMA personnel at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at both events. Kapa‘a, Hanapepe, Po‘ipu, Waimea and Kekaha are among the towns that will be significantly impacted by the flood map changes, the release said. Representatives from federal FEMA Region IX, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state Department of Land and Natural Resources including National Flood Insurance Program State Coordinator Carol Tyau-Beam, and the county Department of Public Works will be available to answer questions and address concerns. Kaua‘i County is a participating community in the NFIP, which allows property owners to purchase insurance that can protect against losses from flooding at a low cost if they meet certain requirements. “Of particular concern to us is the official notification by USACE last week that the Waimea and Hanapepe levees no longer meet FEMA certification height requirements against the so-called ‘100 year flood,’” County Engineer Donald Fujimoto said in the release. “While the levees will still protect against 99 percent of flooding events, the loss of that certification means some homeowners will need to purchase flood insurance when they didn’t need to before.” USACE was hired by the County to perform hydrology, hydraulic and risk and uncertainty studies in the two levees in order to determine if the levees could maintain their FEMA certification. Fujimoto was informed by USACE that many levees around the country are no longer able to maintain their FEMA certification because of stricter requirements that were implemented following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Also, USACE reported that, since the levees were completed (Hanapepe in 1966 and Waimea in 1984), development- and erosion-caused sediment deposits which have impacted the height of the levees. The county has been in discussion with USACE regarding plans to bring the levees back into compliance and with FEMA on various ways to minimize the impact on property owners who will need to purchase flood insurance in the meantime. The county estimates that 319 parcels in Waimea and 133 parcels in Hanapepe will be impacted by the proposed de-certification. According to FEMA, such insurance will not be required until February 2010, however, it may be financially beneficial to purchase the required insurance as soon as possible. Fujimoto noted that not all changes will be negative for owners. Many properties in Po‘ipu and some parts of Kapa‘a will be positively impacted by the DFIRM changes. More information on these issues and the DFIRM program will be provided at the public meetings. The DFIRM maps are also available for inspection via the Web at www.hidlnr.org/eng/nfip. For more information, contact Mario Antonio at firstname.lastname@example.org or 241-4873. Anyone who needs an American Sign Language interpreter, materials in an alternate format or an auxiliary aid should call Antonio at least five days prior to the event.