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Flood Risk Management Resources

Flood hazard information for communities in Alaska is available through the Floodplain Management Services Program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Alaska District.

By identifying flood hazard areas (both coastal and riverine) and recording flood histories, we hope to help reduce the threat to life from flooding in Alaska and minimize flood-caused economic losses.  This information is also intended to aid federal, state and local agencies in guiding development in the communities.

Authority

The program’s authority stems from Section 206 of the 1960 Flood Control Act (PL 86-645), as amended.

Types of Assistance

Flood hazard information varies widely for Alaskan communities – a few have studies and maps specifically identifying their floodplains and hazard risk; while others have little or no documented floodplain information.  The FPMS Program provides the full range of technical services and planning guidance that is needed to support effective flood plain management within the District.  This can range from helping a community identify present or future flood plain areas and related problems, to a broad assessment of which of the various remedial measures may be effectively used.  

  • General Technical Services – The program develops or interprets site-specific data on obstructions to flood flows, flood formation and timing; and the extent, duration, and frequency of flooding. It also provides information on natural and cultural flood plain resources of note, and flood loss potentials before and after the use of flood plain management measures.
  • General Planning Guidance – On a larger scale, the program provides assistance and guidance in the form of "Special Studies" on all aspects of flood plain management planning including the possible impacts of off-flood plain land use changes on the physical, socio-economic, and environmental conditions of the flood plain.

Floodplain Management Services has an ongoing program to identify these floodplains and to update flood information on all communities. Our goal is to provide a complete, readily available source of floodplain information for every community in the state. Please e-mail Floodplain Management Services at POA.Floodplain@usace.army.mil for information in your community, or to provide flood hazard and survey information that could help others.

 

 

Glossary

Aufeis - When new ice continues to form on top of older ice. Ice-forming situations occur wherever there are continuous sources of water and freezing temperatures.

BFE - Base Flood Elevation. The water surface elevation of a flood that has a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The BFE is commonly referred to as the 100-year flood level.

BLM - Bureau of Land Management

Buildings - All public and residential buildings excluding smokehouses, small storage sheds, saunas and others.

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency. The federal agency under which the National Flood Insurance Program is administered.

FIRM - Flood Insurance Rate Map. An official map of a community, prepared by FEMA, which has delineated both the special hazard areas and the actuarial (rate premium) insurance zones applicable to the community.

FIS - Flood Insurance Study. An engineering study performed by FEMA to identify flood-prone areas, insurance risk zones and other flood data within a community.

Flood Gauge - A 1 foot by 8 foot staff gauge. Typically placed in a prominent place within the community and meant to function during severe floods. It often has attached plaques that indicate the elevation of community buildings, the flood of record and the recommended building elevation.

Flood of Record - The greatest flood recorded for a location usually referred to as the "maximum flood of record." The term is also sometimes used to mean any flood for which there is a measurement of height or other systematic or reliable record useful for technical analysis.

Flood Plain - The lowlands adjoining the channel of a river, stream, or watercourse, or ocean, lake, or other body of standing water, which have been or may be inundated by flood water. The channel of a stream or watercourse is part of the floodplain.

HWE - High Water Elevation. The water level of the highest recorded flood. The flood level is marked by a 5-inch by 8-inch white aluminum sign with black lettering that reads "High Water Elevation." The sign also has a symbol for water, which is placed at the flood level. The HWE may or may not be at the level of the 100-year flood.

HWM - High Water Mark. A 1.5-inch-diameter metal washer attached with a lag bolt to a building or a utility pole, placed at the water level of the highest recorded flood. The washer is stamped COE-HWM and painted fluorescent red at the time of installation. A HWM may or may not be at the level of the 100-year flood.

Jokulhlaup Flood - Term used internationally to describe the flood resulting from a rapid release of water from lakes formed in or under glaciers. Any glacier may produce an outburst flood.

MHW - Mean High Water. The average height of the high waters over a 19-year period. All high water heights are included in the average where the type of the tide is either semidiurnal or mixed.

MHHW - Mean Higher High Water. The average height of the higher high waters over a 19-year period.

MLW - Mean Low Water. The average height of the low waters over a 19-year period. All low water heights are included in the average where the type of the tide is either semidiurnal or mixed.

MLLW - Mean Lower Low Water. The average height of the lower low waters over a 19-year period.

MSL - Mean Sea Level. The average height of the sea for all stages of the tide over a 19-year period, usually determined from hourly height readings.

NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program. The federal program under which flood-prone areas are identified and flood insurance is made available in participating communities.

National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) - A measure of land elevation essentially the same as Mean Sea Level (MSL). NGVD is always given with the date of the datum.

NWS - National Weather Service

100-Year Flood - This is a flood of such magnitude that it occurs on the average of once every 100 years, when measured over a very long period of time. This is a statistical average; it is possible to have more than one 100-year flood within a few years. The level of the 100-year flood is the Base Flood Elevation.

Participating Communities - Those communities which participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Recommended Building Elevation - The recommended elevation of the bottom of the first floor of a building. This is a recommendation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District. The Corps does not regulate the floodplain. Participating communities may have different requirements.

Storm Surge - A rise in water surface level above the normal level on a lake or ocean coast, produced by wind, differences in atmospheric pressure during a storm or both.

USGS - U. S. Geological Survey

Zero Damage Elevation - The highest flood elevation which can occur without harming buildings or their contents.

Bibliography

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  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1986. "flood insurance study, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, Anchorage Division."
  2. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Revised 1990. "flood insurance study, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, Anchorage Division," vols. 1 and 2.
  3. Ott Water Engineers, Inc. 1983. "Little Campbell Creek Drainage Study," prepared for Municipality of Anchorage Dept. of Public Works, Anchorage, Alaska.
  4. Tryck, Nyman, and Hayes. 1987. "Study and Report and Decisional Document, Municipality of Anchorage Stream Restoration Project, South Fork, Little Campbell Creek, Hook Drive to Hartzell Road, Anchorage, Alaska," Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage.
  5. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1968. "Flood Plain Information, Campbell Creek, Anchorage, Alaska," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  6. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1969. "Flood Plain Information, Glacier Creek, Girdwood, Alaska," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  7. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1972. "Special Flood Hazard Report, Greater Anchorage Area., Chester, Campbell, Fish and Ship Creeks," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  8. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1973. "Flood Plain Information, Meadow Creek, Eagle River, Alaska," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  9. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1973. "Flood Plain Information, Rabbit Creek, Anchorage, Alaska," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  10. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1974. "Flood Plain Information, Peters Creek, Birchwood, Alaska," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  11. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1975. "Special Flood Hazard Report, Greater Anchorage Area, Campbell Creek," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  12. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1975. "Special Flood Hazard Report, Greater Anchorage Area, Chester Creek," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  13. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1975. "Special Flood Hazard Report, Greater Anchorage Area, Fish Creek," prepared for the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.
  14. U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration. Revised 1987. "flood insurance study, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska."
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1991. "Section 205 Technical Report, Flood Control, Aniak, Alaska."
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Revised 1984. "flood insurance study, City of Bethel, Alaska, Bethel Division."
  2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1968. "Flood Plain Information, Kuskokwim River, Bethel, Alaska," prepared for the city of Bethel.
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1970. "Review of Reports on Kuskokwim River Basin, Alaska, Bethel Bank Stabilization and Flood Control, Bethel, Alaska."
  • Grey, Edward, Hydraulic Engineer. 1983. "Flood Plain Management Study, Nushagak and Wood Rivers, Bristol Bay, Alaska." U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, in cooperation with the State of Alaska, Anchorage.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1967. "Flood Control, Copper Center, Alaska."
  1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1989. "Flood Control Appraisal Report, Cordova, Alaska."
  2. U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration. 1978. "flood insurance study, City of Cordova, Alaska."
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1982. "flood insurance study, City of Delta Junction, Alaska, Southeast Fairbanks Division."
  2. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1978. "Flood Hazard Analyses, Delta Study Area, Alaska."
  3. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1987. "Flood Plain Management Study, Delta Junction, Alaska."
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1982. "flood insurance study, City of Dillingham, Alaska, Bristol Bay Division."
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1992. "flood insurance study, Fairbanks Northstar Borough, Alaska."
  2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. Revised 1964. "Letter Report, Fairbanks Flood Control Project."
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1967. "Flood Plain Information, Chena River, Fairbanks, Alaska," prepared for Fairbanks Northstar Borough and the city of Fairbanks.
  4. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1972. "flood insurance study, north Pole, Northstar Borough," prepared for Federal Insurance Administration.
  5. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1984. "Main Report, Chena River Lakes."
  6. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1985-1987. "Fairbanks flood insurance study, Cross Sections."
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1983. "flood insurance study, City of Galena, Alaska , Yukon-Koyukuk Division."
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1990. "flood insurance study, City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska."
  2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1971. "Flood Plain Information, Lemon Creek, Juneau, Alaska," prepared for the Greater Juneau Borough.
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1971. "Flood Plain Information, Mendenhall River, Juneau, Alaska," prepared for the Greater Juneau Borough.
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Insurance Administration. 1980."flood insurance study, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska."
  2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1967. "Flood Plain Information, Kenai River."
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1973. "Flood Plain Information, Kenai River, Phase 1, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska," prepared for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
  4. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1975. "Flood Plain Information, Kenai River, Phase 2, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, " prepared for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
  5. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1990. "Storm Damage Reduction, Homer Spit, Alaska."
  6. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, in cooperation with city of Soldotna. 1981. "Flood Hazard Study, Slikok Creek and Soldotna, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska."
  7. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1981. "Flood Hazard Study, City of Kenai, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska," Anchorage.
  1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1974. "Flood Plain Information, Carlanna Creek, Ketchikan, Alaska," prepared for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
  2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1974. "Flood Plain Information, Hoadley Creek, Ketchikan, Alaska," prepared for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1974. "Flood Plain Information, Ketchikan Creek, Ketchikan, Alaska," prepared for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
  4. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1974. "Flood Plain Information, Whipple Creek, Ketchikan, Alaska," prepared for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1983. "flood insurance study, City of Kotzebue, Alaska, Kobuk Division."
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1986. "flood insurance study, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, Matanuska-Susitna Division."
  2. Grey, Edward, Hydraulic Engineer. 1982. "Flood Plain Management Study, Beluga Subbasin Streams," U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, in cooperation with the State of Alaska, prepared for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
  3. Grey, Edward, Hydraulic Engineer. 1982 (May). "Flood Plain Management Study, Kashwitna River, Wasilla, Cottonwood, and Lucile Creeks," U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, in cooperation with the State of Alaska.
  4. Grey, Edward, Hydraulic Engineer. 1982. "Flood Hazard Study, Kroto, Rabideux, Trapper and Peters Creek," U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, in cooperation with the State of Alaska.
  5. Matanuska-Susitna Borough. 1981. "Flood Hazard Study, 196 Mile, Caswell, Sheep, Goose, Montana, Answer, and Birch Creeks and Tributaries."
  6. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1972. "Flood Plain Information, Talkeetna River-Susitna River-Chulitna River, Talkeetna, Alaska," prepared for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
  7. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1980. "Expanded Flood Plain Information Study, Willow, Alaska," Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Bibliography (Continued)

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  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1977. "Flood Plain Information, Kuskokwim River, McGrath, Alaska," prepared for the city of McGrath.
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  • Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1983. "flood insurance study, City of nome, Alaska, nome Division."
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1980. "Final Environmental Impact Statement, Prudhoe Bay Oil Field Waterflood Project, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska."
  1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1974. "flood insurance study, Seward, Kenai Peninsula Borough," prepared for Federal Insurance Administration.
  2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1975. "Flood Plain Information, Resurrection River and Salmon Creek, Seward, Alaska," prepared for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1982. "Salmon Creek, Seward, Alaska, Section 205 Flood Control."
  4. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1992. "Revised Reconnaissance Report, Flood Damage Reduction, Seward, Alaska, Lowell Creek."
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1981. "flood insurance study, City of Petersburg, Alaska, Wrangell-Petersburg Division."
  2. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1981. "flood insurance study, City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska."
  3. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1981. "flood insurance study, City of Wrangell, Alaska, Wrangell-Petersburg Division."
  4. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1964. "Review of Reports on Clarks Point Flood Control, Alaska."
  5. U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration. 1976. "flood insurance study, City of Skagway, Alaska (Unorganized Borough)."
  6. U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration. 1978. "flood insurance study, City of Hoonah, Alaska."
  1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1988. "Section 205 Reconnaissance Report, Flood Damage Reduction, Stebbins, Alaska."
  2. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, Hydraulics and Waterways Section. "Stebbins, Alaska, Coastal Flooding Study Hydraulic Investigation."
  1. Grey, Edward, and Lehner, D. 1983. "Flood Plain Management Study (Low Intensity), Lower Tanana River and Tributaries, Interior Alaska," U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, in cooperation with the State of Alaska.
  2. Grey, Edward, and Lehner, D. 1984. "Flood Plain Management Study (Low Intensity), Upper Tanana River and Tributaries, Interior Alaska," U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, in cooperation with the State of Alaska.
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1967. "Termination Report, Flood of the Tanana River Basin, Alaska."
  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1983. "flood insurance study, City of Valdez, Alaska (Unorganized Borough)."
  2. Rundquist, L.A. 1981. "Valdez Flood Investigation Technical Report Appendices," city of Valdez, Valdez, Alaska.
  3. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. 1976. "Flood Plain Information, Mineral Creek, Valdez, Alaska," prepared for the city of Valdez.

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