The Kenai Peninsula Borough is a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program that encourages responsible development to ensure the natural and beneficial function of floodplains, to promote public health, safety and welfare and to minimize public and private losses due to flooding.

The KPB Floodplain Program manages all areas of the Kenai Peninsula with the exceptions of the cities of Seward, Kenai, and Homer (who manage their own floodplain programs), and the city of Soldotna (who does not participate in the NFIP).

Link to Kenai River Flood Map Update

Kenai River Inundation Maps

How deep is the water on your property? Check out these inundation maps below:

Skilak Reach
RM 50 - 40 (Skilak outlet to Bings Landing)

Soldotna Reach
RM 40 - 0 (Bings Landing to Cook Inlet)

What is a floodplain?

The floodplain is the area inundated by waters during a flood event. The regulatory floodplain, on the other hand, covers only those areas of our community that are affected by flood waters during the base flood, or the flood that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. That sounds small, but - big floods happen irregularly, and it is possible to have two base flood events in as many years. Over the term of a 30-year mortgage you have a 26% chance of experiencing a base flood event.

The floodplain is made up of the floodway and the flood fringe:

  • The regulatory floodway is the part of the river where the waters will be the deepest and fastest during a flood event. It is a highly dangerous part of the floodplain where development regulations are the strictest.
  • The flood fringes are the areas alongside the floodway that make up the rest of the regulatory floodplain.

floodplain nfip 1

How can I find out if my property is in the floodplain?

Request a Floodplain Determination

There is a quick and easy way find out where your property is located in relation to the floodplain. Simply fill out our online Floodplain Determination. You will receive a letter and map by email or mail that detail the location of your property in the floodplain, which can help you make decisions about flood preparedness and future development.

Once you receive your Floodplain Determination, we encourage you to contact the Floodplain Administrator at the River Center for any questions you may have about the regulations that may affect development on your property.

Elevation Certificates: do you have one?

We have an online database of existing Elevation Certificates. If you cannot find the Elevation Certificate you're looking for, please contact the River Center. Search Elevation Certificates 

FEMA Elevation Certificate - 2023 Edition (You must open this document in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat to view the content.)

How do KPB Floodplain Management regulations affect how I can use my property?

Floodplain development regulations in the Kenai Peninsula Borough are based on FEMA requirements that ensure that development in our community progresses in ways that provide the best preparedness for flood events. For any development in the floodplain (i.e., building or rebuilding structures, adding additions or other improvements, adding fill, dredging, excavation, driveways, fishing platforms, etc.), property owners need to submit a permit application to the River Center. Additionally, there are requirements affecting the placement of travel trailers, mobile homes, and other temporary structures within the mapped floodplain.

You may be familiar with the KPB Habitat Protection Distict, which is a 50-foot buffer along the managed anadromous streams of the Kenai Peninsula. The floodplain does not have a set width. In some areas, such as a riverfront property on a high bluff, the floodplain main only extend a few feet onto the property. But in low areas like Big Eddy or Castaway Cove, the floodplain (and even floodway) may extend for hundreds of feet from the water. It can get complicated, which is why it's a great idea to request a Floodplain Determination which will give you that information in a clear and brief format to help you understand where your property is located in the floodplain.

Based on where you are in the floodplain, you may need to elevate or flood-proof structures to a certain height, called the base flood elevation. This is how high the flood waters are expected to get in the event of a flood. The KPB Floodplain Administrator will be able to provide the base flood elevation for your property as part of your application review. Other kinds of development will need to meet floodplain guidelines as well.

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Please contact the KPB Floodplain Administrator at (907) 714-2460 for any questions you have about development in the KPB regulatory floodplain. 

Quick Links

Alaska RiskMap Project: Kenai Peninsula Borough
Climate Change in Alaska
Flood Insurance
Floodplain Determination Request

KPB Floodplain Management Ordinance
KPB Interactive Parcel Viewer
KPB Office of Emergency Management

River Gauges
Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area Viewer 
Seward Bear Creek Flood Service Area Website
What are Flood Maps?

Other Useful Links

After a Flood
Before a Flood
Floodway Development: Procedures for Conveyance Calculations & "No-Rise" Certification
Flood Hazard Zone Definitions
Fundamental Concepts of Floodplain Management
Letter of Map Change Information (LOMA and LOMR)
National Flood Insurance Program & NFIP Summary of Coverage
2020 Progress Report – Floodplain Hazard Mitigation

FEMA Technical Bulletins

Below-Grade Parking Requirements 
Corrosion Protection of Metal Connectors in Coastal Areas 
Crawlspace Construction for Buildings in the Special Flood Hazard Area 
Design and Construction Guidance for Breakaway Walls Below Elevated Coastal Buildings 
Elevator Installation for Buildings in SFHA 
Ensuring that Structures Built on Fill or Near Special Flood Hazard Areas are Reasonably Safe from Flooding 
Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements
Free-of-Obstruction Requirements for Buildings in Coastal High Hazard Areas
Non-Residential Floodproofing - Requirements and Certification 
Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures 
Wet Floodproofing Requirements