Flood zone changes will soak residents
|By Gary T. Kubota, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Owners with mortgages will be required by lenders to buy flood insurance if they find themselves in the zone. Others with mortgages on homes already in a flood zone may have to pay more for coverage if new maps now have them in an area of higher risk.
The change, effective
Officials roughly estimated that 1,000 properties were affected by the remapping on
The largest area affected includes residences and businesses on the west side of Waimalu Stream below
"I'm kind of in shock," said
Sumic said the area has storm drains, whereas some people outside the "high-risk" flood plain don't. "Where's the logic in that?"
Two other areas significantly affected by flood map revisions are along Halawa Stream, and Kawainui Marsh near
"All of a sudden, we're in a high-risk area," said
"They did so much to improve the flood control,"
Takamori, who lives on
"I couldn't get ... the answers," said Takamori, a retired commercial photographer.
She said the stream is full of debris and that the last time the waterway was dredged was 25 years ago.
"Why didn't they do their job to avoid flooding?" said Barroga, who has lived in Halawa for more than 35 years.
Barroga said a lot of residents are retirees living on fixed incomes, and that she feels they will have difficulty paying the new flood insurance premiums.
In 2012, the average flood insurance premium nationally was
Sasamura said the city has a project in process to dredge Halawa Stream near
"There may be a need for the construction of flood walls or other containment features in order to remove properties from the identified
Homeowners with mortgages are required by lending institutions to have flood insurance if their properties are located in a risk zone.
Takamori said the high-risk classification of his property means he'll have to obtain flood insurance, but his mortgage exceeds the
"The lender is the one who'll say, 'You have to cover this,'" he said.
Barroga said that while her mortgage is paid and flood insurance is optional, her family was considering doing renovations to the property and taking out a loan for the work.
"I think it's going to be more difficult," she said.
She said the high-risk classification also means a change in the value of her property. "I'm sure it's going down," she said.
Federal officials said they base their risk guidelines on a 100-year flood or a major flood that has a 1-in-100 chance of occurring in any given year.
Major breaks in levees have occurred in the past 10 years, including the 2005 failure in
Simmons said the remapping of flood zones in
"Levees reduce but do not eliminate flood risk," he said.
Simmons said a detailed study of flood hazards along Halawa Stream also reflects areas of flood risks.
Residents said filing an amendment is probably their last option, because it would require hiring a surveyor.
The last change in flood insurance maps on
The sessions were held in conjunction with the state
FLOOD ZONES RECLASSIFIED
A large area in Waimalu is among the
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