ABSTRACT

Eagle, Alaska Uses HAZUS to Map Safe Rebuilding Zones Following Ice Jam Devastation   [open pdf - 677KB]

"In early May 2009, an ice jam on the Yukon River above Eagle, Alaska broke, flooding the town with icebergs as large as homes. The town was devastated. Houses were pushed off their foundations and the icy flood waters carried away vehicles, homes, and personal belongings. Fishwheels, boats, nets, and other means of livelihood were crushed beneath the weight of moving ice. The ice jam occurred when masses of ice broke apart and got stuck in a narrow part of the river. […] The Geospatial Intelligence Unit (GIU) and the Risk Analysis Branch at The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region X watched news reports of the Eagle, Alaska disaster on CNN and YouTube and came to the town's rescue with HAZUS [Hazard US]. The town of Eagle had not been previously mapped for flood hazards, including ice jams, and the normal flood mapping process can take several years. Using the US Geological Survey (USGS) stream gauge data and elevation data from across the border in Canada, the team was able to run the HAZUS flood model. The flood model required a large area of digital elevation data which led to the combination of U.S. and Canadian data. The initial HAZUS runs identified areas that were most severely impacted, which helped emergency responders focus their response efforts."

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United States Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/
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