Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Open Houses for New Draft Flood Maps

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Friday, March 10, 2017

By Taunnie Boothby, Planner

Land owned by some 900 property owners in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will be moving out of a federal floodplain with some 150 properties moving into the floodplain, according to new preliminary federal floodplain maps. The more detailed maps will lead to great savings in flood insurance for many. Learn about the proposed changes at several open houses next week. 

More than 3,500 notices were mailed to residents. The majority of those mailings are to property owners who remain in the flood zone but whose boundaries have changed.

The Mat-Su Borough is working with the State of Alaska and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to update ourfloodplain boundaries for the 1-percent and 0.2-percent-annual-chance (100- and 500-year) flood events.

The proposed maps have arrived, but theyare not final yet. Borough representatives would like to discuss how the maps were developed, hear from residents regarding the new proposed boundaries and describe the next steps in the process.

You will be able to talk with representatives from FEMA, the State of Alaska, Flood Insurance professionals and the Mat-Su Borough to answer your questions about flood prevention, mitigation, flood insurance, flood hazard development standards, flood hazard development best practices, and flood map revisions. 

 Image: The attached map demonstrates how the new flood data more closely follows contours of the earth, more accurately illustrating where water will flow in the event of a flood.  Willow Creek is in both. The left side is the existing floodplain adopted in 1985 and the right side is the proposed floodplain map. The pink rectangles are structures.

Open House Schedule:

March 15, 2017 –Wednesday

10:30 am – 12:30 pm,  Willow Elementary School, Library, 31706 George Parks Hwy., Willow, AK

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm,  Meadow Lakes Elementary School, Library, 1741 Pittman Rd., Wasilla, AK

March 16, 2017 –Thursday

11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Iditarod Elementary School, Library, 801 Wasilla-Fishhook Rd., Wasilla, AK

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm,  Butte Elementary School, Library,

4006 Butte Rd.,  Palmer, AK

The Flood Insurance Study (FIS) utilized detailed fieldwork, a new model, and high-resolution topographic data that was not available in the 1980s when our floodplains were last studied.

FEMA encourages homeowners to have flood insurance if they live near water. Flooding also happens outside of floodplains. A homeowner’s flood insurance will be a fraction of the cost if the property designation is not in a floodplain.

The Borough has mailed notices to affected Mat-Su property owners. If you have questions, please come to one of the open houses or contactMat-Su Borough, Permit Center at (907) 861-7822 or e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. If you would like to contact FEMA regarding this project, you can call the FEMA Map Information eXchange, (877) 336-2627, or visit  FEMA’s Map Service Center webpage at  

Visit the Borough floodplain web page at

For more information call Alex Strawn, Manager of Development Services, at 861-8574.