Skip to content
Back to Top

Alaska Risk Map Program


Aniak Risk MAP Study

The Risk MAP process began for the community of Aniak on October 30, 2015 when the State and FEMA conducted a Risk MAP Interview. During the interview, Aniak officials were asked to identify persistent flood problems and other hazard areas of concern, which were discussed in more detail during the Discovery Meeting.

Risk MAP Discovery Documents

Discovery is the first part of the Risk MAP process. During this initial phase, the State, FEMA and local entities work together to collect data regarding local flood and other hazard risks. FEMA has data on national and regional levels, however FEMA relies heavily on information and data provided by communities because local officials are able to provide a holistic view of their communities and their known risks. The State prioritizes a watershed for Discovery based on evaluations of risk, need, availability of elevation data, regional knowledge of issues, and local input. After this data is collected, the study is evaluated on an extensive list of criteria.

Aniak Reports and Studies

The Alaska State Risk MAP Coordinator, FEMA's Risk Analyst and the Alaska State Mitigation Planner travelled to Aniak on July 27, 2016 to conduct a Risk MAP Discovery Meeting with City of Aniak leadership and staff. The purpose of the Risk MAP Program was discussed and how it could benefit the City of Aniak. Aniak's Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) was completed in 2015, so the next update will be in 2020. FEMA and the State discussed how the Risk MAP process could inform the next update of the LHMP. City staff identified flood, fire and erosion hazards on a map. This information has been developed into a Discovery map, below.

Aniak Discovery Map

Aniak's Discovery Map identifies critical facilities, areas of concern including erosion, flooding and wildfire, environmentally sensitive areas, and mitigation needs. Click on the map image to open a full-sized version of the Discovery Map.

Aniak Discovery Map

Tables 1 and 2 below outline Aniak's risk assessment needs, hazards and mitigation actions. The high priority mitigation projects Aniak identified as part of the Discovery process are as follows:

Aniak's High Priority Mitigation Projects

  • Dike improvements
  • Work with property owners that have repetitive loss damages to mitigate future flooding
Severe Storm
  • Research and consider instituting the National Weather Service "Storm Ready" program
  • Conduct special awareness activities, such as Winter Weather Awareness Week, Flood Awareness Week, etc.
  • Expand public awareness about NOAA Weather Radio for continuous weather broadcasting and warning tone alert capability
  • Promote Firewise building design, siting, and materials for construction
  • Enhance public awareness of potential risk to life and personal property. Encourage mitigation measures in the immediate vicinity of their property.
  • Encourage mitigation measures in the immediate vicinity of their property such as firebreaks, which greatly assist in controlling wildland fires. They can be developed in the form of roads and natural water channels. The firebreaks would also provide transportation corridors.
  • If funding is available, perform an engineering assessment of the earthquake vulnerability of identified critical infrastructure owned by the city.
  • Install non-structural seismic restraints for large furniture such as bookcases, filing cabinets, heavy televisions, and appliances to prevent toppling damage and resultant injuries to small children, the elderly, and pets
  • Perform an engineering assessment of the earthquake vulnerability of identified critical infrastructure owned by the City of Aniak
  • Identify and pursue funding opportunities to implement mitigation actions
  • Encourage individuals to apply mitigation measures in the immediate vicinity of their properties
  • Research and consider instituting the “Storm Ready” Weather Service program
  • Conduct special outreach/awareness activities, such as Winter Weather Awareness Week, Flood Awareness Week, etc.
  • Expand public awareness about NOAA Weather Radio for continuous weather broadcasts and warning tone alert capability.

The following risk assessment needs have been indentified for Aniak:

Table 1: Aniak Risk Assessment Needs

Location Description Study Type
Kuskokwim River Levee: The entity responsible for maintaining the city levee system is unknown. USACE adds additional concrete to the structure. The City Public Works Department removes trees on the levee system. Levee Inspection/Certification
Kuskokwim River Levee: Based on the 2006 effective FIRMs, it needs to be determined if the levee system provides protection. Updates to the FIRMs will need to be performed if the system does provide protection. Levee Analysis/Updated Mapping
Past High-Water Marks (HWMs) are missing throughout the city. No marks exist on the Aniak Slough side of the community. The city is interested in developing and installing new HWMs. Field Survey Analysis
Aniak Airport: There is concern among city officials that the new runway alignment will change the drainage patterns around the community. When the airport floods, the runway is inundated. Stormwater Management
Most homes within the community appear to be elevated, but the community is not sure if the elevations are accurate. Many homes are elevated on gravel pads; however, the pads are eroding away Risk Assessment
USACE conducted an erosion assessment in 2009. City officials would be interested in comparing imagery flown pre- and post- assessment to gain a better understanding of the rate of erosion. Erosion Assessment
City officials would like to have the Alaska Department of Transportation include erosion mitigation in the runway project because it will need to be protected. Erosion Assessment
Kuskokwim River Levee: The levee/dike is eroding, and the city feels riprap or something similar is needed to reduce future erosion. Erosion Assessment
Erosion is cutting inland and has made the old dump site susceptible to flooding, which then sends garbage down the river. Erosion Assessment
The city has an evacuation plan, which was last examined 4 years ago. The plan could be revisited for a future update, if needed. Evacuation Plan Updating
The city would like to see the development of a preparedness plan and more outreach related to preparedness efforts. Local Planning
The city is not aware of the annual Hazard Mitigation Plan team meeting requirements; however, the city likes the idea and is interested in receiving assistance with this meeting. Meeting/Plan Implementation
There are multiple areas around the city where fire break lines are needed (these were marked on the in-person Discovery Meeting Map). The fire chief would like to see more training for the public on fire risk/prevention. The city is very short-handed on firefighting capabilities. They need assistance developing and training a volunteer team Wildfire Risk Assessment/ Potential Fire Assistance Grants

The following hazards and mitigation actions have been indentified for Aniak:

Table 2: Aniak Hazards and Mitigation Actions

Hazard Location Description Mitigation Action
Southeast end of airport runway Culvert backing up into the city along Boundary Ave. and First Street Culvert Expansion/Regular Maintenance
Morgans Road Local drainage causes flooding along Morgans Road; lack of culvert(s) in area to channel water from ponding in low-lying spots affect schools and State police. Improve Stormwater Drainage System Capacity
East Aniak (island) Frequent flooding occurs on East Aniak (island). Flooding from the Aniak Slough occurs due to ice jamming on the Kuskokwim River. Ice Jam Prevention Techniques
Citywide Removal of fuels for wildfire prevention throughout certain areas of the city most susceptible to wildfire hazards. Implement a Fuels Management Program
Citywide Need for fire break lines installed around certain developed areas of the city. Cut fire breaks in wildland-urban interface
East Aniak (island) Helipad installed 10 years ago for evacuations, but not fully maintained Routinely maintain by pruning vegetation/grasses
East Aniak (island) Need for a fire suppression system with smokehouses and grass vegetation Use of fire blanket/extinguisher or sprinkler system
Kuskokwim River Need for protection of roadway as flooding occurred at the intersection of High School Road and Airport Boulevard. Elevating roadway / installation of storm drainage system
Kuskokwim River Need for additional riprap to existing levee structure. Use of revetments to protect against flooding
Kuskokwim River Install flood gates to reduce risk of flooding around airport grounds. Flood-control structures built to prevent flood damage

FEMA Region X Risk MAP Newsletters

Contact for More Information

Sally Russell Cox
State of Alaska Risk MAP Coordinator
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1640, Anchorage, AK 99501-3569
Phone (907) 269-4588 Fax (907)269-4539