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Community Risk MAP Studies: City of Seward

The City of Seward has been engaged in three recent mapping studies: a legacy Map Modernization Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) study which was completed in 2013, a Physical Map Revision of the Japanese Creek Alluvial Fan, which is currently on hold pending , and the current Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study described in detail below.

Seward Physical Map Revision

This Physical Map Revision project included the detailed study and new DFIRMs for Grouse Creek, Bear Creek, Kwechak Creek, several Salmon Creek flows, Sawmill Creek, and Resurrection River. The maps became effective on September 27, 2013.

Japanese Creek Physical Map Revision

This Physical Map Revision project includes a detailed study of the Japanese Creek Alluvial Fan. Because the study area includes a levee that hasn't been accredited for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements, the project has been placed on hold until FEMA finalizes its guidance for mapping non-accredited levees.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study

FEMA and the State of Alaska conducted a coastal Risk MAP Study in the Kenai Peninsula Borough that began in 2011. The coastal Flood Insurance Study and FIRMS became effective October 20, 2016.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Discovery Documents Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Scope Documents Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Draft Work Maps - Seward Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Preliminary Maps - Seward Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP Resilience Workshop - Seward Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP Products and Tools Region X Service Center Quarterly Reports

Study Scope

Specific to the City of Seward, the scope of work of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP Study includes (see also the map below):

  • Ten miles of detailed coastal flood hazard analysis including the collection of storm surge (coastal hydrology) and overland wave height analysis (coastal hydraulics) of Resurrection Bay.
  • Preparation of a regulatory Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report document to the Community. A FIS is a book that contains information regarding flooding in a community and is developed in conjunction with the FIRM. The FIS, also known as a flood elevation study, frequently contains a narrative of the flood history of a community and discusses the engineering methods used to develop the FIRM. The study also contains flood profiles for studied flooding sources and can be used to determine Base Flood Elevations for some areas.
  • Preparation of a regulatory Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) map for all panels within the Community which identifies the Community's flood zones, base flood elevations, and floodplain boundaries. This map is used to determine where the purchase of flood insurance is required for properties with federally-backed mortgages. The preliminary FIS and DFIRM’s are scheduled to be released in Winter/Spring 2016.
  • All of the above datasets will be in the in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  • The State and FEMA will provide guidance, feedback, coordination and technical support throughout the Risk MAP Project Life Cycle.

Status of Project

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP study has been completed. FEMA and the State Risk MAP Coordinator held a Resilience Workshop in Seward to review results and develop risk reduction strategies August 22, 2017. The finalized Risk Report was delivered to the City in January 2018. FEMA and the State will continue to work with the City to implement the resilience actions identified during the workshop, and will hold quarterly check-in calls with the City to provide updates on the status of the resilience actions.

The following table illustrates project status and includes major milestones with dates:

Activity Actual or Projected End Date
Discovery Interview February 2, 2011
Discovery Meeting March 2, 2011
Discovery Report May 2011
Flood Study Kick-Off Meeting July 23, 2012
Engineering Analysis 2012
Draft Work Maps Completed August 2013
Flood Risk Review Meeting August 28, 2013
Preliminary DFIRM/FIS Release June 13, 2014
Consultation Coordination Officers (CCO) Meeting September 9, 2014
Public Meeting/Workshop September 9, 2014
90-Day Appeal Period Start Date 1st Start: January 28, 2015; 2nd Start: August 12, 2015**
90-Day Appeal Period End Date 1st End: April 28, 2015; 2nd End: November 10, 2015**
Letter of Final Determination April 20, 2016
Draft Multi-Hazard Risk Report October 6, 2016
Maps and FIS Become Effective October 20, 2016
Risk MAP Resilience Workshop August 22, 2017
Delivery of Final Risk Report and Risk Assessment Database January 2018

*All projected dates are subject to revision as the project progresses

**Due to a map repository address error for the City of Seward on a DFIRM Map Index, a correction notice had to be submitted to FEMA and a subsequent Appeals and Protests period for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the City of Seward will begin in early June 2015 and end in early September 2015. The City of Homer had an appeal period that ended on 4/28/2015. The City of Homer will sit idle while the second Appeal Period for the Borough and City of Seward takes place. At the conclusion of the second appeal period all three communities will go through the remaining FEMA required steps to reach an LFD date in early April 2016.

Map of Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Study Scope

Kenai Peninsula Study Scope Map

Contact for More Information

Sally Russell Cox
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1650,
Anchorage, AK 99501-3569
Phone (907) 269-4588
Fax (907) 269-4539