Flooding is the nation’s most common and most expensive natural disaster. To help identify areas in Juneau at risk for storm and flood events that could put lives and property in danger, the City and Borough of Juneau’s Community Development Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are in the process of updating flood maps, using the most accurate scientific information available. The public has had opportunities to weigh in on the process, and there’s still time. Comments and appeals on the draft flood maps will be accepted through July 9.

FEMA and the CBJ’s goal is to gather information from residents to ensure that the flood hazard zones are mapped as accurately as possible to protect the public against flood hazards. Flood maps will also be used by community officials for future development, land use mapping, and hazard mitigation planning. Through rigorous scientific studies and public outreach, CBJ and FEMA want to ensure the public is safely managing flood risk. Flood maps also determine flood insurance rates for property owners who have a federally-backed mortgage.

The 2017 flood maps are currently in draft form, and will be adopted around mid-2019 after comments and appeals have been addressed by FEMA. Comments and appeals from the public are being accepted through July 9. Comments include corrections or clarifications pertaining to misspellings, labeling, and missing information. These corrections do not affect the flood zones themselves. Appeals, on the other hand, include information indicating that the elevations or delineations are scientifically incorrect. Filing an appeal requires data-intensive studies performed by a licensed engineer or surveyor. If you are considering submitting a comment or appeal, be sure to identify the process that is most appropriate for your situation.

To get started, visit www.juneau.org/cddftp/JuneauFloodZoneMap.php to learn more about how your property is impacted by the map updates. The site includes a searchable flood map, information shared during an April 4 public open house, and detailed instructions on the comment and appeal form. For more information, please contact Teri Camery, Senior Planner, at 586-0755, teri.camery@juneau.org, or Amy Liu, Planner, at 586-0764 or amy.liu@juneau.org.