Proposed Projects for Inclusion in the Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The City and Borough of Sitka is updating its Hazard Mitigation Plan. The project team has identified the following potential projects for inclusion in the plan. Their inclusion does not mean that the projects will happen, but having them listed in the plan makes it possible for the CBS to obtain federal funding to accomplish them. 

We are seeking public input on the identified projects and would very much appreciate your time in providing your feedback. 

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Stormwater System Repair and Upgrade


This project is a phased effort to install upgrades and repairs to the city's stormwater system. Drainage problems due to inadequate culverts have been reported by the public and discerned from maintenance history. Public works reports that 30% of maintenance time is spent clearing culverts.  The project would cut down that maintenance time as well as have the added benefits of improving drainage from saturated soils (possibly reducing landslide risk), reducing pollutant runoff, and providing opportunities for road upgrades.

The preliminary study has been completed and the project would move forward as funding becomes available. Including it in the hazard mitigation plan may help the CBS obtain funding for the project.

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Gavan Hill/Keet Gooshi Heen Landslide Mitigation Project

This project is a phased effort to study and implement landslide mitigation options to reduce potential landslide damages to critical facilities adjacent to Gavan Hill including Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School, Sitka High School, a water standpipe, and CBS recreation fields. As there is a significant amount of study needed to determine the next steps of such an endeavor, this project seeks to perform Phase One, which consists of: 

1. Desktop studies
  • Review existing topographic data and aerial photographs that may be helpful in mapping flow chutes
  • Prepare hillshade and contour maps for preliminary analysis and field use
  • Review Gavan Hill geophysical information obtained from AK Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys


2. Field Reconnaissance
  • Perform a field reconnaissance at Gavan Hill


3. Analysis and Report
  • Debris Flow Analyses
  • Risk Zonation
  • Conceptual protective works, options analysis, and costs
  • Draft Report
  • Final Report
Phase Two would consist of design and installation, but the scope and cost of Phase Two can only be determined after Phase One is complete.

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Public Education Campaign


This project encompasses public education activities such as flyers, signage, presentations and workshops, and other public education activities. This project is meant to fill gaps in public awareness and education regarding hazards in Sitka, what can be done to prepare for them, and what is being done to mitigate them. Improving home and family preparedness throughout the community ensures that disaster response will be more organized and sustainable. This project has a number of benefits, from promoting disaster preparedness to giving the community educational opportunities.

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* Data Collection Plans and Systems

Currently a lack of data presents an issue for preparedness in the community. Monitoring systems for rainfall, weather, stream turbidity, and other data sets would improve the community’s ability to assess weather-related hazards (such as flooding and landslide hazards) and determine whether hazards are increasing or decreasing at any given time. Data collection systems are the first step to a robust early warning system. The data can have benefits to other studies and can be shared when warranted. The systems may be used by students for research projects, benefitting the city by provisioning more uses for the data. 

The project is in the very beginning stages and more studies are needed to determine what types of monitoring can or should be installed, where it can be installed, and whether said installation is feasible and cost effective. 

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* Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)  Development

CERT provides organization, training, and structure for members of the public who wish to volunteer to help during a disaster. Currently there is no organized CERT team in Sitka. Implementing a CERT team would allow access to CERT funding, training, and other benefits, and help make the community more disaster-resistant by establishing a readily deployable cadre of responders.

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Improve Food Security for Vulnerable Populations


Sitka is an isolated community with limited access (air and sea only). During times of disaster, Sitka may experience disruptions in supplies and services. Vulnerable populations, such as seniors and low-income families, may not be able to sustain a stockpile of food to get them through times of interrupted resupplies. Developing strategies and programs to fill this need will benefit the community’s vulnerable population and improve its disaster resilience as a whole.

This project presents possibilities that may improve sustainability of the community’s food supply in general. Projects such as community gardens, greenhouses, co-ops, chicken coops, and other food-producing programs can provide employment, community projects, youth programs, and other benefits.

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* Please provide any other input you have regarding the proposed projects.

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