Link to Kenai River Flood Map Update: Story Map

Project Background

Since 2011, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has been working to update the regulatory floodplain maps for the Kenai River. This has involved the cooperation of numerous Federal, State, and Local stakeholders. 

Look at Your Property Using: Current vs New Comparison Map Viewer

FEMA Map Appeal Information

On January 31, 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided the Kenai Peninsula Borough with Preliminary copies of the revised Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report for the Kenai River below Skilak Lake. These proposed map changes, if finalized, will become the new regulatory maps that the Borough will regulate to. However, before any new mapping becomes effective, FEMA provides community officials and citizens an opportunity to appeal the Preliminary FIRM and FIS report.

Appeal Period Starts: October 11, 2023
Appeal Period Ends: January 9, 2024

All appeals must be delivered to the Kenai Peninsula Borough, who will then forward the appeals in a single submission to FEMA. The Kenai Peninsula Borough will not review the content of these appeals, which must be based on the technical aspects of FEMA’s modeling. To accommodate this process, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Floodplain Administrator has provided an Appeal Form to be completed by the applicant. FEMA will not accept appeals or comments that are not first submitted to the Borough.

FEMA's Federal Register Notice regarding the Appeal and Comment Period

Residents and business owners are encouraged to review the updated maps to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements.Residents may submit an appeal or comment if they perceive that modeling or data used to create the map is incorrect.

  • What is an Appeal?
    Appeals submitted to FEMA must include scientific or technical information that explains why you believe floodplain boundaries, base flood elevations or zone designations are incorrect. An appeal must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim. Appeals cannot be based on the effects of proposed projects or projects started after the study is in progress.

  • What is a Comment?
    If property owners see incorrect information that does not change the flood hazard information, they can submit a written comment. Comments may include: feedback regarding road names, jurisdictional boundaries and other base map features; concerns regarding proposed flood hazard information; or, any technical submittal that does not meet the full requirements for appeals.

The next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps.

To submit an appeal or comment, complete the Kenai Peninsula Borough Appeal Form. Submit the completed form and required back up documentation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by January 8, 2024 (in order to meet the FEMA deadline of January 9, 2024).

KPB Appeal Form
FEMA Requirements for Supporting Documentation
Maps: Current vs. New Comparison Viewer
Preliminary FIRM and FIS Report

What happens after an appeal is submitted?
FEMA will review the submitted information and prepare an acknowledgement that will state one of the following:
• The appeal is valid and a change to the Preliminary FIRM and/or FIS is warranted
• Additional data or information is needed to complete the review. The appellant will have 30-days to provide additional information
• The information is considered a Comment and will not be incorporated

Should I consider a LOMA instead of an Appeal?
Due to map scale limitations, making flood zone changes at the individual lot or structure level impossible to show on the FIRM. The appeals process typically cannot be used to remove a structure or property from the floodplain. Instead, FEMA’s Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process is the avenue to follow for this purpose. Because LOMAs officially change the flood zone designation for a structure or property on an effective FIRM, not a Preliminary FIRM, it is recommended that applicants submit their LOMA application directly to FEMA through their online Letter of Map Change application portal 30 to 60 days prior to the effective date for the Preliminary FIRMs (likely in fall 2024). Once approved, an official amendment to an effective map is sent out by letter to the property owner. Please note that LOMAs apply to individual structures or properties and do not change the flood zone boundaries on the FIRM.