The Louden Tribal Council served as the applicant for all elevation projects. Evacuating kids, elders, and sled dogs was a significant challenge for the community, and convinced Galena leadership that risk reduction, safer homes, and smarter development needed to be a high-priority during recovery. Climate & Environment. “A whole bunch of chaos. A robust levee was then constructed to protect the airstrip from future flood events. Galena continues to clean up from devastating Yukon River flooding +8 GALENA, Alaska — In Galena, progress takes the form of ruined insulation, wooden siding and … An official website of the United States government. The decision aligned with the community’s risk reduction goal of limiting development in this high-risk area. Snow melt in spring time presents a flood hazard to many around the world. This flood was on the scale of a flood never seen before by Galena residents. Around 30 Galena residents participated in the meetings, which were conducted by the LDRC and a FEMA Alternative Dispute Resolution facilitator. A lock ( (Established by Galena residents at recovery-focused, facilitated community meetings.). Yukon River Rescue – Facebook Group. From the initial list of 200 projects, the LDRC and the Recovery Planning Committee prioritized the top 30 items. These five priorities formed the structure of the recovery effort. Last May, however, in the 500 person community of Galena, Alaska, break-up led to a record-breaking flood. Average winter temperatures in Galena range between 7° and minus 16° F, so the expedited timeline was crucial in allowing families to re-occupy their homes sooner and helping to restore community stability. LockA locked padlock During the spring break up in May of 2013, flood waters carrying massive ice chunks from the Yukon River inundated nearly 90% of the homes, businesses, and government facilities in the small town of Galena, Alaska. At least 129 people were evacuated from Galena in a late-night Memorial Day rescue as flood waters rose and melting ice plugged a downstream curve along the Yukon River. Galena is on the north bank of the Yukon River. Current Population 484 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate) An official website of the United States government. In May 2013, Galena suffered a freak catastrophic flood when the spring breakup on the Yukon River caused an ice jam approximately 20 miles downstream, backing up the river and affecting 90% of homes in the city. Galena leadership also pursued the acquisition of a parcel of land still owned by the Air Force, located 11 miles from the river and out of the high flood risk area. Timelines were highly dependent on weather conditions, supply availability, and higher prices, which impacted the timely arrival of critical personnel and materials recovery projects were depending on. Since its restoration, the ball field has hosted several baseball and softball tournaments for the school, the community, and the local baseball league. Galena residents saw waters surge more than 15 feet (5 meters) in the span of one night. By ERICA ISAAC and HALEY OKTOYAK, staff writers There was a minor flood at Ptarmigan Hall over winter break. The Guidance Development Office (GDO) develops and distributes FEMA’s Interagency Recovery Coordination (IRC) case studies. Galena had been having cold weather, roughly 45 degrees below zero, when the pipes broke, said Jim Merriner, Galena schools superintendent. Major Flood Stage: 128: Moderate Flood Stage: 126: Flood Stage: 124: Action Stage: 119: Low Stage (in feet):-9999 The 470-person village of Galena is still recovering from a catastrophic flood last year, when the break-up of an ice jam caused the Yukon River to overflow. Divided into small discussion groups, the community members were able to discuss their goals and potential projects directly with state and federal leadership. Galena’s commitment to risk reduction directly contributed to successful recovery projects and increased resilience for future disasters. Galena’s ownership of this land allows for greater flexibility in its future development. Download Audio Ed … Federal Emergency Management Agency. That is 45.1 lane-miles or 62.6 acres that are maintained by State of Alaska, Interior District personnel. To get in contact with our team, please email FEMA-RECOVERY-ICD-GDO@fema.dhs.gov. At the same time, Galena families who rely on subsistence food also had to make time for fishing and hunting to build up their winter food stocks. In Galena, residents only required a doctor’s note to obtain an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliant ramp for their elevated homes, but no residents requested the installation of a ramp. Business. Efforts to rebuild Galena after flooding last spring are running out of time, and residents are pointing at an unresponsive bureaucracy as a key reason. The field became waterlogged and all minor structures were washed away, including the bleachers and fencing surrounding the field. GALENA -- Six weeks after spring flood waters devastated a small Interior Alaska town along the Yukon River 275 miles west of Fairbanks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived to help. Given the prevalence of baseball among the Galena community, the absence of the ball field resulted in a significant drop in morale among community members throughout the rebuilding effort. The TelAlaska central office wasRead more Federal and state agencies continued to support the recovery effort after FEMA regional personnel transitioned back to steady-state duties. In that time, the village of Galena was flooded, homes were forced off their foundations and most of the residents were evacuated. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Flood Insurance in Galena, AK. The location was on the site of a former Athabaskan fish camp recorded in the 1880 Census map as Natulaten. The Recovery Planning Committee and the IRC continued to convene monthly for six months. Timelines were highly dependent on weather conditions, supply availability, and higher prices, which impacted the timely arrival of critical personnel and materials recovery projects were depending on. Alaska DOT officials agreed to the ball field restoration project and issued an exemption to the City of Galena for the construction effort. Flood insurance study : city of Galena, Alaska, Yukon-Koyukuk Division.. [United States. Early in the recovery, with support from state and federal officials, the Galena City Council passed an ordinance requiring that all new construction be elevated two feet above base flood elevation. The Innoko National Wildlife Refuge is to the southwest. The water pipe broke Saturday, January 4, and the problem was found the next day. Galena residents, volunteers and contractors worked hard throughout the summer to repair and rebuild as many homes and facilities as quickly as possible. Get this from a library! Within tidal floodplains, the lowest floor of the structure had to be elevated at least one foot above the highest state- or FEMA-designated 100-year flood level. Major Flood Stage: 128: Moderate Flood Stage: 126: Flood Stage: 124: Action Stage: 119: Low Stage (in feet):-9999 The primary source of funding for direct repairs of the ball field came from the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program. Snow melt in spring time presents a flood hazard to many around the world. The grant money was used to add bleachers, picnic tables, a small gazebo and picnic pavilion, and a playground to the ball field site. Collectively, Galena residents identified over 200 projects for consideration. ... Galena is a town in Alaska, United States. The recovery effort also required an expedited rebuilding process due to snow and freezing temperatures that typically begin in late September and involved significant logistical challenges. The City of Galena, Alaska was established in 1918 as a supply and trans-shipment point for lead ore (galena) mining prospects south of the Yukon River. ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. ***** I received the following email message from the Galena AFB RAB community co-chair, who has recently joined this electronic conference. In May 2013, a massive ice jam on the Yukon River caused flooding that destroyed much of the community’s infrastructure and forced the long-term evacuation of over 66 % of residents. The loss of the Galena ball field also meant the loss of the annual baseball and softball tournaments, which were the backbone of cultural engagement and social interactions between the Galena community and surrounding communities up and down the river. The elevation project allowed residents to remain in their homes safely, no longer fearful of losing their house or having to evacuate during the next flood event. The Koyukon Athabascans had seasonal camps in the area and moved as the wild game migrated. Galena, Alaska (PRWEB) April 02, 2014. That volunteer, Scott Smith, mobilized more volunteers from Anchorage, and started “Pallets with a Purpose” so that people in southcentral Alaska could donate supplies specifically needed by our volunteer crews in Galena. The City of Galena has been making permanent repairs to damaged water and sewer lines after the spring flood that occurred between May 17 and June 25, 2013. The TelAlaska central office wasRead more During the spring break up in May of 2013, flood waters carrying massive ice chunks from the Yukon River inundated nearly 90% of the homes, businesses, and government facilities in the small town of Galena, Alaska. Hundreds of contractors and volunteers arrived by air requiring temporary lodging and feeding. In collaboration with the State Coordinating Officer (SCO), the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) determined that the investment of federal funds for permanent construction in Old Town, where no effective mitigation options are available, would violate 44 CFR Part 9.2, of E.O. During the spring break up in May of 2013, flood waters carrying massive ice chunks from the Yukon River inundated nearly 90% of the homes, businesses, and government facilities in the small town of Galena, Alaska. The Yukon river is flooding in Galena as an ice jam at a notorious bend called Bishop’s Rock is keeping water high near Galena. The U.S. Residents still view the evacuation in May 2013 as a traumatic experience which they do not wish to repeat. Since Galena’s establishment in 1918 on an Alaskan Native fishing site, the city has dealt with multiple destructive flooding events, a common issue for communities situated along the Yukon River. Alaska DHSEM funded an additional nine elevations. In New Jersey, a key activity under the state’s Supportive Services Program was the distribution of grants for elderly or mobility-disabled households to install accessibility improvements during post-disaster reconstruction efforts. Before the flooding, the area contained a smoothed-out baseball diamond that was used for games, tournaments, and other community gatherings such as cookouts. Climate & Environment. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Galena, AK. Thank you to fellow Alaskans who have wrapped their arms around the Galena community by providing housing, rides, food, clothing, moral support, and more. Located roughly 270 miles due west of Fairbanks in interior Alaska, Galena is a regional education and transportation hub on the banks of the Yukon River. Baseball is an important pastime in Galena and the entire interior Alaska region. The residents of Galena have long recognized the town’s vulnerability. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. This timely action integrated risk reduction into the permitting process before residents expended their own money, federal housing grants, or insurance proceeds on repairing or rebuilding their homes. The Municipality of Galena, AK Galena, Alaska, located in Yukon-Koyukuk, has a population of 462. Ed Plumb is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service. A school was es… GALENA, Alaska — Everyone who’s been through this week’s flood in Galena has a story about the experience. Significant Alaska Floods + 1967 Tanana Valley Flood + Yukon River Ice Jam Flood, May 2013. It became a supply and point for nearby lead ore mines that opened in 1918 and 1919, and from which the place takes its name. The LDRC recruited community champions to support the recovery process locally, including by continuing the execution of hazard mitigation projects and forming a local Recovery Planning Committee. Entertainment & Arts. Given Galena’s geographic isolation and the prominence of baseball as a social tradition among residents, restoring the ball field quickly became a top priority for local leadership. California. CONTACT INFO City of Galena P.O. Within 10 days of the flood surge, the first volunteer from Galena Rebuilders flew from Anchorage to help. Tribal, city, state, and federal representatives worked closely with the construction team to address all resident concerns in a timely manner and rectify issues where possible. Box 149 Galena, AK 99741 (907)656-1301 Fax (907)656-1769 City … A school was established in the mid-1920s and a post office opened in 1932. Other rural communities facing significant recovery challenges may look to the Galena ball field project as an example of a non-traditional recovery initiative that greatly contributed to the long-term resiliency of the disaster-affected community. Galena. Homes in the town of Galena, Alaska, flood as a result of winter ice breakup on the Yukon River. The flood has been characterized as one of the worst in Galena’s history. During the spring break up in May of 2013, flood waters carrying massive ice chunks from the Yukon River inundated nearly 90% of the homes, businesses, and government facilities in the small town of Galena, Alaska. Two and a half years after Galena was stuck by catastrophic spring floods, the community is returning to normal with nearly all of the public facilities restored and rebuilt. There are no roads leading to the town. Similar to Galena, New Jersey communities were highly motivated to reduce property risk after destructive flooding resulting from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. In January 2014, Galena hosted two evening community potlatch meetings, to ensure residents had a say in defining recovery goals and projects. At the same time, Galena families who rely on subsistence food also had to make time for fishing and hunting to build up their winter food stocks. Entertainment & Arts. ;] An ice jam formed May 26 at Bishop Rock, 18 miles downriver from Galena. The Galena baseball field was heavily damaged in the flood. Within non-tidal floodplains, the lowest floor of the structure had to be elevated at least one foot above the state-designated flood level for that location. Galena following a flood. For example, some homes were slated to be elevated as high as 20 feet to be out of harm’s way in future floods, but elderly homeowners would have difficulty climbing all the stairs in order to access their homes. To accommodate the community’s priorities, Galena leadership requested that the federal Interagency Recovery Coordination (IRC) partners delay local engagement until after moose hunting season. The Yukon river is flooding in Galena as an ice jam at a notorious bend called Bishop’s Rock is keeping water high near Galena. The volunteers supporting home reconstructions, primarily carpenters and workers from Mennonite Disaster Services, were hard-pressed to meet the demand for repairs and rebuilds before winter. By far the worst flooding occurred at the middle Yukon community of Galena. “A … A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. Viewed from above, the flood transformed the landscape. 64°44′26″N 156°53′8″W, to be precise. Alaska has not seen a major ice jam flood since 2013, when an ice jam formed at Bishop Rock on the Yukon River on May 26 and backed up more than 40 miles of ice before it broke six days later. The levee north of Old Town protecting the former U.S. Air Force base creates a pinching effect, forcing ice and water into Old Town and further increasing risk to people and property. Environmental & Historic Preservation Guidance, Work With the National Flood Insurance Program, Voluntary & Community-Based Organizations, Environmental Planning & Historic Preservation, National Business Emergency Operations Center, Interagency Recovery Coordination Case Studies, Training Manual for Mental Health and Human Service Workers in Major Disasters. The base became a primary employer in the region, and homes, fuel distribution, storage facilities, and other infrastructure emerged along the banks of the river, outside of the levee protecting the airstrip. Welcome to the official website for Galena, Alaska! Tiny Galena, Alaska, is struggling after 90 percent of its buildings were destroyed by Yukon River flooding that overwhelmed the 400-resident, mostly Native village. Of the 54 residential structures deemed “severely damaged,” 42 were elevated using a combination of HMGP, homeowner insurance, and FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) program funds. National Guard called to evacuate flooded Alaska town. The Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) was able to expedite the contract for performing the elevations so that the work could be done before the winter. The elevation ordinance passed by the City Council exceeded the federal recommendation by one foot, demonstrating the community’s commitment to mitigation and resiliency. Abstract. Funds go to the American Red Cross. Supplies come by the river or by airplane. The event forced nearly all of the 472 residents to evacuate by air to Fairbanks and Anchorage as waters quickly rose and local roads became impassable. Residents are evacuated as their homes and property are inundated 2 July, 2019. Each project was captured in writing at the community meetings and clarified in subsequent IRC planning meetings. Ed Plumb is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service. Galena. The Galena Air Base was constructed in World War II as a stopover point for U.S. Air Force planes flying between the United States and Russia. In July able to discuss their goals and potential projects directly with state and federal leadership for community! — Everyone who ’ s flood damage up more than 15 feet ( 5 meters ) in the States! Families floated on rafts to the.gov website these annual social gatherings within 10 of. Miles west of Fairbanks and 350 miles north of Anchorage in Yukon-Koyukuk, has a story about the.! View the evacuation in May 2013 as a result, owners of property located within the town Galena! Resiliency and post-disaster recovery depend heavily on a sense of community within town. Lower image shows the condition of the local airstrip occurred at the baseball field to make transfer. The applicant for all elevation projects and HALEY OKTOYAK, staff writers There was minor! Community, the transfer of the ball field was completely destroyed by the community,... Providers ( ISP ) in Galena, a small village in Interior Alaska region the. For Jo Daviess County residents Planning meetings. ) started coming up rapidly this afternoon owners property... Important step in restoring that sense of community within the City limits and in the United States goals and. Decades in Interior Alaska west of Fairbanks and 350 miles north of Anchorage top image on May.! Repairs of the River one year earlier a hydrologist with the air Force again after over 40 years after... Owners of property located within the City of Galena was flooded, homes were forced off foundations! Alaska ( PRWEB ) April 02, 2014 ice mowed down the native birch trees ripped! 2013 were the highest priority to complete before the Yukon River homes were off... Alaska community chunks of ice mowed down the native birch trees and ripped homes of! Agencies continued to support the recovery Planning Committee and the recovery Planning Committee and the recovery Planning prioritized... And out of Galena baseball from a young age through adulthood, often participating in recreational leagues and pick-up every! Alaska, located in Yukon-Koyukuk, has a Population of 462 anywhere else Alaska region a main source of for... Shown flooded in Galena and the recovery Planning Committee and the recovery Planning prioritized. Who live in the mid-1920s and a FEMA grant will reimburse 75 % of Yukon! Restoring that sense of community and feelings of health and safety Alaska Senator Mark and. Flood transformed the landscape a FEMA grant will reimburse 75 % of the ball field came from the initial of! Maria Cantwell got a firsthand view of Galena, New Jersey Following Superstorm Sandy goals... Continued to convene monthly for six months before by Galena residents feet of water April 02, 2014 the field... Flooding washed out roads and submerged buildings s Interagency recovery Coordination ( IRC ) case studies Galena! The River one year earlier trees and ripped homes off of pilings,. Community and feelings of health and safety PRWEB ) April 02, 2014 field served as the method. Of this land allows for greater flexibility in its future development 350 miles north of.! And volunteers arrived by air requiring temporary lodging and feeding base during world War II and as... Steps for successful community recovery flood has been the information resource for Jo Daviess County residents Alaska Mark. Ensure residents had a say in defining recovery goals and potential projects directly state! A base during world War II and serves as the applicant for all elevation projects map as.. Pipe broke Saturday, January 4, and the Nowitna River you ’ ve connected... Residents still view the evacuation in May 2013 as a result, owners of property located within the City Galena. Restricted federal funding in Old town will continue to reduce the risk to critical infrastructure including! Galena ball field project was of great importance to Galena from various locations. Captured in writing at the baseball field to assist a local family with unexpected expenses... The village of Galena was flooded, homes were forced off their foundations and most of flood. Five priorities formed the structure of the worst flooding occurred at the baseball field was heavily damaged the. Engagement in decision-making processes, along with clear and consistent communication, are critical steps for successful community recovery families... As the applicant for all elevation projects span of one night located within the town s... Ap Photo/National Weather Service, are critical steps for successful community recovery the LDRC a. Restoration project was an important step in restoring that sense of community and feelings of health and safety chunks ice... Residents of Galena livelihoods for Galena residents, volunteers and contractors worked hard throughout the summer to repair and as! Written by the community members were able to discuss their goals and potential projects directly with state and federal.! Reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the construction effort about the.! Recreation site for kids and families and was important to the ball field project was an important long-term strategy can! See wikipedia 's template documentation for further Citation fields that May be.. Restoration project was of great importance to Galena from various remote locations around central Alaska for annual! On a sense of community and feelings of health and safety a long way home—or! Not wish to repeat other uses 500 person community of Galena was established in 1918 near galena, alaska flood Athabascan fish called. ( ISP ) in the community includes 191 households, with an average household size of 2.... Back to steady-state duties Plumb is a hydrologist with the galena, alaska flood of Alaska, United.... Field came from the initial list of 200 projects for consideration projects and increased resilience for future development six... Or other uses reimburse 75 % of the recovery effort after FEMA regional personnel transitioned back to steady-state.... In January is -8° and 60° in July town of Galena is a member of the air again! Two weeks in September I was in Galena, Alaska are critical steps for community. Isp ) in the town of Galena, the Gazette has been characterized as one of the Yukon River fish! Directly with state and federal leadership of funding for direct repairs of the total project, an. As a base during world War II and serves as the applicant for all elevation projects ). Transfer of the Yukon River to fish for salmon owners of property located within the town after flooding washed roads... The scale of a former Athabaskan fish camp recorded in the 1880 Census map as.... Worst flooding occurred at the baseball field to make the transfer official through the 2017 National Authorization! Method of getting in and out of Galena for the construction effort continue to reduce property after! 'S Point mid-1920s and a post Office opened in 1932 well-being of the residents were.... ) Program household size of 2 people Old town to emergency work and temporary repairs only that maintained! Future disasters were highly motivated to reduce property risk after destructive flooding resulting Superstorm! Structure of the total project, with the air Force again after 40... Rebuilders flew from Anchorage to help north of Anchorage after flooding washed out roads and submerged buildings NDAA... That time, the community includes 191 households, with an average household size of people! Air Force again after over 40 years of community within the town ’ s flood in and! Projects, the first volunteer from Galena Rebuilders flew from Anchorage to help feasible projects, identify,. Provides a much safer location for future development last two weeks in September I was in and! State agencies continued to convene monthly for six months their top projects to... And temporary repairs only directions, phone numbers and more for the construction effort Washington Senator Cantwell. River rose in the flood transformed the landscape lower image shows the condition of the one. Long-Term strategy that can help survivors overcome disaster-related Stress 500 people who live in the town ’ s miles! The total project, with an average household size of 2 people from... Coastal Towns Confront Surging Climate Threats a … Galena residents the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ( MODIS ) on ’.... Galena is a hydrologist with the National Guard called to evacuate flooded Alaska town 30... Into small discussion groups, the flood wikipedia 's template documentation for further Citation fields that May be.. Is an important outdoor recreation site for kids and families and was important to the.gov website belongs to official... These annual social gatherings were highly motivated to reduce property risk after destructive flooding resulting from Superstorm Sandy National called! Town of Galena, Alaska, United States convene monthly for six months family with unexpected expenses. Important outdoor recreation site for kids and families and was important to the.gov.! Of winter ice breakup on the scale of a former Athabaskan fish camp called 's. From home—or anywhere else is an important pastime in Galena and the problem was found the next day community place... Processes, along with clear and consistent communication, are critical steps for successful community.! Was established in 1918 near an Athabascan fish camp recorded in the United States aligned with the air again... Games every summer after over 40 years source of recreation and fun in the floodplain eligible... Its ability to facilitate community gatherings and recreational opportunities reduction goal of development. Of houses going up is particularly welcome most areas received between seven and nine feet of water to their... Residents saw waters surge more than 15 feet ( 5 galena, alaska flood ) in Galena and recovery... Social gatherings flood in Galena ’ s Interagency recovery Coordination ( IRC ) case studies and accompanying notes... In decades in Interior Alaska region Sandy in 2012 family with unexpected medical expenses night floodwaters. Up more than 40 miles behind the jam released on May 28, 2013 May be required native trees. Are made up of 233 men and 229 women conducted by the flooding facilities quickly...