Alaska Risk MAP Program

Community Risk MAP Studies

City of Cordova

The City of Cordova was selected for a Risk MAP Study in Federal Fiscal Year 2012.

City of Cordova Risk MAP Discovery Documents

Risk MAP provides local governments with information and tools to enhance local mitigation plans, improve community outreach, and increase local resilience to flooding and other natural hazards. The “Discovery” process is the first part of a Risk MAP project. During Discovery, information is gathered about local hazard risk; mitigation plans are reviewed to understand local mitigation capabilities, hazard risk assessments, and current or future mitigation activities; and information is collected from communities about their natural hazard history, development plans, daily operations, and land management activities. The information gathered is used to determine which areas of the jurisdiction require mapping, risk assessment, or mitigation planning assistance through a Risk MAP project. Assistance is also provided to the local government to develop a vision and strategy for future hazard resilience.

Discovery Interview

The Risk MAP Discovery process began in Cordova in Early February 2011, when a Discovery interview was conducted with the local floodplain administrator. During the interview, previously collected data was reviewed and “Areas and Points of Concern” (mapping needs, desired mitigation projects, etc.) were identified based on local knowledge and an analysis of the data shown on the map.

Cordova Discovery Meeting

In early March 2011, a watershed-wide Discovery meeting was held in Cordova. The discussion covered issues with wave action into the harbor and the need for funding to complete the Harbor Breakwater Extension mitigation project. Riverine and lacustrine flooding areas of concern were discussed. Community members explained that there is wave action during the autumn months on Eyak Lake, with winds peaking at 90-100 mph. The most recent severe event for flooding in the lake was in 2006. The City reported flooding and wave action near the city landing strip on the northwest corner of the lake along Power Creek Road. The community identified a reach along the most western edge of Eyak Lake as needing an approximate study. The community discussed past mitigation efforts to remove homes from an avalanche zone on the southeast side of Eyak Lake, and discussed a desire to replace the weir/dam structure between Eyak Lake and Eyak River. The Eyak River near the 6-Mile Subdivision was identified as a high priority study area; with flooding issues in the area between the airport and city accompanied by glacial outwash. It was noted that there were hydroelectric dams/weirs located within the watershed that have seen flood damage and that the Eyak River may be subject to some channel migration. The need was identified for a detailed study along the Eyak River near the subdivision, and an approximate study on Ibek Creek.

The following desired mitigation projects and mapping needs were identified:

Summary of Desired Mitigation Projects

  • Harbor Breakwater Extension – the city desires funding for the extension of the northern harbor breakwater to mitigate wind swell propagation into harbor.
  • Eyak Lake Weir – the city desires funding to improve or replace the weir/dam structure between Eyak Lake and Eyak River.

Summary of Mapping Needs

Some areas were identified as needing a detailed coastal, detailed riverine, or approximate study. These locations are generally described and are shown on the Final Discovery Map (below).


Cannery Road Loop


Near the loop at northern end of Cannery Road

Detailed Coastal

Cannery Road/ Fleming Creek


Coastline near Fleming Creek

Detailed Coastal

Seafood Lane


Coastline along Seafood Lane

Detailed Coastal

Eyak Lake


Shoreline study along the west end of the lake


Eyak River


Near the lake


Ibek Creek


The confluence of Ibek Creek and Eyak River


FEMA subsequently made the decision to fund LiDAR acquisition of many of the coastal areas identified in the Discovery meeting. 

Click to download full version of map Final Cordova Discovery Map

FEMA Region X Risk MAP Newsletters

For more information contact:

Sally Russell Cox

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