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Alaska Silver Jackets

The Alaska Silver Jackets team intends to serve as a catalyst in developing comprehensive and sustainable solutions to flood hazard issues including mitigation planning, flood hazard mapping, risk reduction activities and response and recovery planning in the State of Alaska.  The team will:

  • Promote smart and environmentally sound floodplain management activities.
  • Increase and improve flood risk communication and outreach among local, tribal, state, and federal agencies.
  • Provide assistance in identifying and prioritizing actions to reduce the threat, vulnerability, and consequences of flooding in the State of Alaska.
  • Facilitate strategic planning and implementation of life-cycle mitigation, response and recovery actions to reduce the threat, vulnerability, and consequences of flooding in the State of Alaska.
  • Create or supplement a process or processes to collaboratively identify floodplain management issues and implement or recommend solutions.
  • Identify and implement ways to leverage available resource and information between agencies.
  • Increase and improve flood risk communication and outreach.
  • Promote wise stewardship of the taxpayers' investments.
  • Develop more comprehensive state flood risk management policies and strategies.
  • Develop advanced hydrologic predictive services to reduce loss of life and property damage from flooding.

Team Activities

Kenai River Cross-Sections

This interagency project - along with the Kenai Peninsula Borough - surveyed 55 cross-sections from Skilak Lake to the mouth of the Kenai River.  This effort directly supports the Kenai Borough efforts in updating their flood maps.   The data collected also supports the requirements of modeling and publishing to the NOAA Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) site for real-time flood warnings and inundation mapping.

USGS Gage Survey to NAVD 88 Datum

The Alaska District in cooperation with USGS completed the tie-in to NAVD88 datum of 29 USGS gages across the State.  This effort began in FY16 and was completed in FY17.  This effort supports the USGS and NOAA Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center for flood warnings and potential inundation mapping for the areas surveyed.

Willow Creek Scenario Inundation Mapping (FY17)

This interagency project includes the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC), DOT&PF, USGS, NOAA/NWS, Mat-Su Borough, State DCRA and DHS&EM, and FEMA as Partners.  The recently updated NFIP maps in the Mat-Su Borough are limited to the 100-yr and 500-yr inundation extents.  At Willow Creek, larger floods may occur and render the railroad and DOT bridges impassable, preventing transportation in to and out of the area.  This study will build on the FEMA models and generate additional flood scenario maps to inform the community, ARRC and DOT&PF of potential high water flows and the consequences associated.  

Koyukuk Floodplain Information Report

This interagency project documented the complex flood history of the community of Koyukuk - situated along the Yukon River near the confluence of the Koyukuk River.  Historical inundation maps were developed by consolidating oral food history reports, high water mark surveys, and documented flood reports.  The study will be used to update the community Hazard Mitigation Plan, provide flood risk information to community residents, and inform future development in the area.

Juneau Jokulhlaup Inundation Mapping

This interagency project provides modeling and mapping of inundation caused by glacial-outburst or jokulhlaup flooding on the Mendenhall River in Juneau, Alaska.  Jokulhlaup, an Icelandic word for an event from a country that’s been dealing with this phenomenon for years, has recently created record-level floods in within Alaska that are predicted to continue. Recent updates to FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps did not include floods resulting from glacial outburst events. Therefore, the Alaska District worked closely with the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) and the hydrologist from the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center to conduct high water mark surveys, develop river hydraulic modeling, and determine flooding boundaries for the Mendenhall River.

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Bi-Lingual Poster Brings Flood Risk Reduction Messages to the Inupiat

Throughout the summer of 2014, the State of Alaska Silver Jackets team partnered with the Northwest Arctic Borough to design a bi-lingual English and Inupiat poster detailing simple measures that people can take to reduce their flood risk. The Borough was able to provide translation services through The Aqqaluk Trust, a non-profit entity that works to provide education on language and culture of the Inupiaq people of northwest Alaska. The poster was printed and mailed to the cities, tribes, and other public entities throughout the Northwest Arctic Borough in an effort to effectively provide information about flood risks. The team is hopeful that this effort can help inform people about their risks and steps they can take to manage that risk.

For More Information Contact

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, Email, 907-753-2871

Participating Agencies

Federal

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Alaska District
  • National Weather Service (NWS) Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) – Alaska Science Center
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Denali Commission
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

 

State

  • Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&WM)
  • Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA)
  • Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED)
  • Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF)

Local Agencies

  • Landscape Conservation Cooperatives for Alaska (LCCs)
  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)
  • City and Borough of Juneau
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough
  • Alaska Railroad Corporation
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough

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