Alaska Risk MAP Program

Community Risk MAP Studies

City of Valdez

FEMA and the State of Alaska are conducting a coastal Risk MAP Study in the City of Valdez that began in 2011.

City of Valdez Risk MAP Discovery Documents
City of Valdez Risk MAP Study Scope Documents
City of Valdez Draft Coastal DFIRM Workmaps

Study Scope

The scope of work of the City of Valdez Risk MAP Study includes (see also the map below)

  • A detailed coastal flood hazard analysis including the collection of storm surge (coastal hydrology) and overland wave height analysis (coastal hydraulics), as well as floodplain boundaries for 1-percent and 0.2-percent-annual-chance (100- and 500-year) flood events.
  • A riverine analysis will also be performed to include:
    • hydrology and hydraulic modeling for 3.8 miles of detailed riverine study on Mineral Creek
    • 11.7 miles of detailed riverine study on Lowe River
    • 4.6 miles of detailed riverine study on Valdez Glacier Stream
    • 2.2 miles of detailed riverine study on Robe River, and
    • 18.7 miles of approximate riverine modeling on various streams.
  • Floodplain delineations and the Flood Insurance Study will be updated for the entire City.
  • A draft map for the coastal analysis will be completed in spring 2014.
  • The draft map for the riverine analysis will be completed in early winter 2015.

Regulatory Products

  • 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.
  • 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 were released on August 25, 2014.
  • All of the above datasets will be in the in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988.

Non-Regulatory Products and Technical Assistance

  • A Changes Since Last FIRM map and dataset that identifies areas where the Special Flood Hazard Area, floodway, and/or flood zone designations have changed since the previous flood study. Engineering factors that may have contributed to the changes such as data used and level of study performed will also be identified. Estimates of structures affected by the changes will be quantified and summarized to capture increases/decreases in known risk areas and enable local officials to better plan for outreach needs.
  • 1% annual-chance depth grids for coastal areas and approximate riverine analysis. The detailed riverine work will include 10%, 4%, 2%, 1%, and 0.2% annual chance depth grids. Depth grids depict the depth of flooding at locations throughout a city and when combined with other information, such as first floor elevations, are invaluable in understanding risk.
  • Areas of inundation associated with +1, 2, and 3 feet increase to the base flood elevation for coastal areas to be used for planning purposes to represent sea level rise. Elevation increase values can also be adjusted using local sea level rise data as requested by the city.
  • A non-regulatory Risk Report which include narratives on multiple hazards and risk exposure, and explains the risk assessment methodology and results for each city. The risk report will provide loss estimations using Hazus for flood, earthquake, and tsunami hazards. Flood depth grids and USGS ShakeMaps will be incorporated into the Hazus analysis. Local data will be added to Hazus for more accurate results. Other natural hazards will include a summary and an exposure analysis.
  • The Flood Risk Database which houses data collected, created, and analyzed during the project. This data can be used by the City to recreate maps, develop reports and other products, and to perform additional analysis.
  • Highlight areas where risk reduction actions may produce the highest return on investment.
  • Provide the City with technical assistance for HAZUS projects.
  • Provide the City with Areas of Mitigation Interest findings and recommendations based on best available data.
  • The State and FEMA will provide guidance, feedback, coordination and technical support throughout the Risk MAP Project Life Cycle.


Project Status

The project is currently in the Draft Work Map stage. The following table illustrates project status and includes major milestones with dates:

Activity Actual or Projected End Date
Discovery Interview February 11, 2011
Discovery Meeting March 4, 2011
Discovery Report May 2011
Coastal Engineering Analysis Spring 2014
Draft Coastal Work Maps Issued March 14, 2014
Coastal Flood Study Review Meeting June 26, 2014
Riverine Engineering Analysis Fall - Winter 2014
Draft Riverine Work Maps Issued January 2015*
Riverine Flood Study Review Meeting June 2015*
Preliminary DFIRMs Released November 2015*
Community Coordination & Outreach Meeting / Public Open House February 2016*
 Draft Multi-Hazard Risk Report Released April 2016*
90-Day Appeal Period Start Date May 2016*
90-Day Appeal Period End Date August 2016*
Final Risk Report and Risk Assessment Database Delivered August 2016*
Letter of Final Determination Issued October 2016*
Risk MAP Resilience Workshop November 2016*
DFIRM and FIS Effective Date April 2017*

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


Map of Valdez Study Scope

Click on image to open larger map

Valdez Study Scope Map


Valdez Discovery
(FEMA Region X Workspace)
  City of Valdez
PIN Website
  FEMA Region X
Risk MAP Newsletters

For more information contact:

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