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Alaska Risk MAP Program

Community Risk MAP Studies: Fairbanks North Star Borough

Tanana River and Zone A Flood Studies

The Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) identified a need for updated flood analysis of the Tanana River and selected Zone A ("Approximate") study areas in the borough. The FNSB applied for funding for this project through FEMA’s Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) Program and in 2019, FEMA awarded a grant to the FNSB to perform hydrology and hydraulics along the Tanana River and Salchaket Slough. In addition, FEMA provided contract support through its mapping contractor to provide independent quality assurance- quality control of the hydrology and hydraulics, flood risk products, and preliminary map production along with community engagement.

The specific Zone A needs were identified in a FEMA Risk MAP meeting held on 27 August 2020, and FEMA funded additional mapping for selected Zone A (Approximate) reaches starting in late 2020. In 2021, FEMA added an additional 222 miles to the original Zone A study area to include the Chatanika River, Chena River, Monument Creek, North Fork Chena River, and Salcha River.

The Zone A analysis was initiated in September 2020. FEMA’s mapping contractor obtained 2017-18 LiDAR/DTM datasets from the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Elevation Portal to develop hydraulics and hydrology for the identified areas. In 2021, 215 miles of additional stream reaches were added to the original project extent.

A virtual flood Risk Review meeting on the approximate studies and Tanana River study was held with the FNSB on July 6, 2023 to share the resulting data, solicit community feedback, and discuss next steps for the project.

Data from these efforts can be viewed at the following locations:

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

Meeting/Deliverable Actual or Projected End Date
Flood Study Kick-Off Meeting August 27, 2020
BLE Map Release (GeoPlatform) July 21, 2021
Flood Study Kick-Off Meeting September 22, 2021
Draft Map Release – Zone A’s January 24, 2023
Draft Map Release – Tanana River February 18, 2023
Flood Risk Review (FRR) Meeting July 6, 2023
Preliminary DFIRM/FIS Release Fall/Winter 2023*
Consultation Coordination Officers (CCO) Meeting Spring 2024*
Public Meeting/Workshop Spring 2024*
90 Day Appeal Period Starts Summer 2024*
90 Day Appeal Period Ends Fall 2024*
Letter of Final Determination TBD
Draft Multi-Hazard Risk Report TBD
Risk MAP Resilience Workshop TBD
Risk MAP Resilience Workshop TBD
Delivery of Final Risk Report and Risk Assessment Database TBD
Maps and FIS become Effective TBD

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

Chena Slough Flood Study

The Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) identified an updated flood study for Chena Slough as a local mapping need while an effective Flood Insurance Study, dated March 17, 2014, was being finalized. FEMA was unable to include an updated flood study for Chena Slough at that time. Since then, FNSB completed an updated flood study for Chena Slough through FEMA's Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) program. FEMA’s mapping contractor was tasked with performing Quality Assurance/Quality Control(QA/QC) of the flood study, and to incorporate the updated study data into Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for public release and review.

Preliminary Flood Insurance Study and FIRM Database
  • Coming Soon!
Consultation Coordination Officer (CCO) Meeting

After the release of preliminary FIRMs and FIS reports, FEMA holds meetings to present them first to community officials at a Consultation Coordination Officer (CCO) Meeting . Any changes in flood risk will be explained and participants will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the products. This is also the meeting where public outreach needs are discussed.

The CCO Meeting is required by 44 CFR 66.5 (f): (f) The community shall be informed in writing of any intended modification to the community's final flood elevation determinations or the development of new elevations in additional areas of the community as a result of a new study or restudy. Such information to the community will include the data set forth in paragraph (e) of this section. At the discretion of the Regional Administrator in each FEMA Regional Office, a meeting may be held to accomplish this requirement.

  • Coming Soon!
Region X Service Center Quarterly Reports

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

Activity Actual or Projected End Date
Flood Study Kick-Off Meeting November 23, 2016
Preliminary DFIRM/FIS Release February 15, 2019
Consultation Coordination Officers (CCO) Meeting April 23, 2019
Public Meeting/Workshop June 20, 2019
90-Day Appeal Period Started September 6, 2019
90-Day Appeal Period Ended December 5, 2019
Letter of Final Determination March 18, 2020
Maps and FIS become Effective September 18, 2020

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 1650
Anchorage, AK 99501-3569
Phone (907) 269-4588
Fax (907)269-4539