Current weather

  • Clear sky
  • 21°
    Clear sky
  • Comment

Flooding mitigation effort needed now

Posted: July 8, 2014 - 4:40pm  |  Updated: July 9, 2014 - 7:52am

I am writing to express my concerns over flooding issues for the K-Beach area. As you are well aware, last fall there was considerable flooding in our area. It was declared a borough, state, and federal disaster. We are still dealing with the paperwork and process of obtaining any of the funds to repair from last year. We are still trying to fix our home, farming business, and property from the damages caused by last year’s flooding. My septic system was flooded and sank into the ground. My house and barns had their foundations compromised, and my crawl space filled with water to within inches of my flooring. This led to our home and outbuildings being heaved unevenly out of the ground during freeze-up. My doors barely operated, and double-paned windows lost their seals when it froze this winter. We sat all winter with feet of ice in the crawl space and covering my entire property. I will have to raise my entire house and all my outbuildings to re-do the foundations, and weather-proof again. During the floods, we had to sell off half of our breeding stock animals, as there were very few areas that were high and dry. Most of my land was under a foot of water or more. We have been slowly repairing these damages as we can afford to. We still use water very sparingly in our household as our septic system is barely working.

My neighbors are all dealing with similar issues and problems, and we all have been since last September. I say all of this to let you know the seriousness of our situation. We appreciate all of the work that the borough did in putting in culverts and creating “Lake Karluk” as a holding area for the water drained, sending people to look at the damage and speak with us during the flood. We also appreciate the time spent in meetings and in studying this flooding problem with experts. We are glad that the borough has been very methodical and thoughtful in trying to determine a solution to our areas drainage problem. We have waited patiently and worked with the borough throughout all of the flooding and up until now. We have waited for a plan to deal with these high water issues, for some kind of borough solution to our lack of drainage. I have heard of no plan and see no solutions being implemented. It is July. The time to deal with these problems is now. We can’t wait until August or September when the rains start. We will be flooded out and unable to create the infrastructure needed to effectively drain our neighborhood. Already, this summer, after a few days of rain, people are pumping their crawl spaces, surface water sits in puddles for days after, and leach fields slow to inoperable rates. The ditches and culverts that were put in last year fill with water and remain filled for days after a rain. We just want the borough to appreciate that the time for action is now. We sit with properties and homes still damaged from last year and watch the clear signs that we will have another disaster in just a short time. We need a solution, a plan implemented, so our neighborhood doesn’t go under again this fall. Thank you.

  • Comment

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
jford
3976
Points
jford 07/09/14 - 09:15 am
3
2
Here's an idea, don't build in a floodplain.

If people insist on building in floodplains, the public should insist there be no bailout every time there's a flood.

And for those who just rebuild again after a flood in the floodplain? They should have known there was going to be another flood and they shouldn't get bailed out by the public because they rebuilt in the same floodplain.

It's pretty simple. Stop building in floodplains.

Suss
4227
Points
Suss 07/09/14 - 05:49 pm
2
2
Floodplain or levee backed up drainage?

Prior to the Warren Ames bridge Kalifornsky Beach Road was a beat up washboard path that was little more than a wagon trail.

Many years of fill and compaction have built up the roadway to its present level that is now at a much higher level than the surrounding ground.

The natural drainage towards the inlet has been blocked with K-Beach acting as the levee.

This levee and the change in the water table of the gas fields has altered the area's natural ability to drain.

Many of the affected homes have been in the area for 30 to 40 years or more, without having the surface water issues that they are facing today.

Driving the beach will show where the previous drainage gullies were and how they are not performing today.

Some times things are not as simple as the people looking at them tend to be.

jford
3976
Points
jford 07/09/14 - 08:40 pm
3
2
Floodplains, wetlands and shorelands all experience flooding.

Building structures in areas prone to flooding results in buildings, homes and structures being periodically flooded.

All it takes is a the 50 or 100 year event and flooding happens. It doesn't matter if it's riverine floodplain, wetlands floodplain or shoreland floodplain. They all periodically flood.

It is that simple.

Almost the entire area where the flooding is happening adjacent to KBeach road is mapped and designated as wetlands by the borough. It was wetlands before the borough designated it as such, it was wetlands before KBeach road was built and it's still wetlands today.

K Beach road has been built up to it's present grade for many years now with no attendant previous flooding events being tied to K Beach road construction.

Development in the wetlands has a cumulative effect damping or restraining the ability of the wetlands to hold excess water. Gravel fill in the wetlands themselves, drainage ditches drying the soil and changing vegetation in the wetlands all combine to inhibit or hinder the ability of the wetlands to retain excess water.

Build that building in the floodplain and expect it to flood. Substantially alter a wetlands ecology and expect it's ability to absorb excess water to be diminished.

It is that simple. Don't build in the floodplains.

Historically, floodplains, wetlands and shorelands were utilized for agricultural lands with homes and other buildings being sited on higher ground, not susceptible to flooding. The inevitable flooding events didn't cause significant problems, mostly the floods ended up enriching the agricultural lands and homes and other buildings were not damaged by the periodic flooding.

So-called modern man started ignoring natural events and cycles, started building in floodplains and on wetlands and now we have disaster relief and insurance payouts because of the inevitable flooding events.

The flooding hasn't changed, the natural events still happen, only now, we pay to rebuild what should never have been built in a floodplain to begin with.

Suss
4227
Points
Suss 07/09/14 - 10:28 pm
2
2
Read the Boro Maps; not Wetland

The majority of the older homes affected were not and are not in the wetland areas. Mariner Watch Subdivision was highly timbered with older stands of tall trees and never was a wetland. Same for the adjoining areas near mile 14 to 15 K-Beach.

Here are the Borough maps. See pages 4 & 5

www.borough.kenai.ak.us/images/KPB/OEM/Presentation1.pdf

Things are tough enough for these folks that they do not need false statements being said about their homes being built in a wetland.

At breakup time water collects and stays on the East side of K-Beach while the West side (Inlet side) of K-Beach will be bone dry.

The flood prone area would drain to the inlet through many drainage pathways if K-Beach had the requisite culverts and had utilized the natural drainage that predates the current road construction.

Yes, construction does have an impact.

leewaytooo
2209
Points
leewaytooo 07/10/14 - 02:44 am
3
0
yes construction can create

yes construction can create it's own problems.

maybe the problem is the streets in the neighborhood

creating a dam effect??

k beach road has been there forever....

has there been culverts removed from under k beach?

what natural drainage was blocked off? exactly where?

while mariner's watch sub has trees.... the large area to

the east does not....

maybe the roads in the subdivision have created their

own "holding ponds" and does not allow the water to

run off to the inlet.

maybe the west side of k beach is just that, a beach, you

know SAND.

Suss
4227
Points
Suss 07/10/14 - 07:33 am
2
2
Walk the beach

K-beach Road has washed out at least three times in the recent history from the lack of drainage.

Walk, drive or fly the beach and where you see overgrown ravines and gullies that was where the natural drainage points had been.

Yes the land East and South of the subdivision are wetlands that have become recharged and saturated. Where the direction this water wants to go is detailed in the Borough maps.

How the water drains is altered by man made construction, mostly inhibited by the levee that is K-Beach road.

The old K-Beach trail would have washed out at many points that correspond with the ravines and gullies leading down to the inlet.

jford
3976
Points
jford 07/10/14 - 09:46 am
3
1
Not wetlands? Nearly the whole area is designated as wetlands.

http://www.kenaiwetlands.net/images/wetlanddudem.JPG

For a more precise view, use the borough's gis map pages.

http://www2.borough.kenai.ak.us/GISDept/AGS.html

More info:

http://www2.borough.kenai.ak.us/GISDept/IMS/QuickGuide.htm

and more:

http://www.kenaiwetlands.net

Open up the borough parcel viewer and click on the wetlands under map display. You'll see that almost the entire area is designated as wetlands.

The drainage under K Beach has been improved, larger culverts, much larger culverts have replaced the older culverts that washed out because of extreme weather events.

http://redoubtreporter.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/k-beach-road-reopens-to-...

The false statement is your statement that the area in question is not mostly wetlands. You need to heed your own advice first before even beginning to think of telling anyone else what to do. That self absorption got in your own way again.

Suss
4227
Points
Suss 07/10/14 - 09:50 am
2
2
Subdivision is not wetland

Go back to your maps again. Wrong info, repeatedly.

This is silly.

You can say the majority of the subdivision is wetland but it is not.

What does that say about you?

jford
3976
Points
jford 07/10/14 - 09:52 am
3
1
Nothing silly about the whole surrounding area being wetland.

This problem isn't limited to one subdivision.

Back to Top

Spotted

Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321268/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321253/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321248/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321243/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321208/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/320593/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321173/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321163/
My Gallery

CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS