In FY 2023, USGS received disaster supplement funds (Public Law 117-328) to assess increased risks to coastal communities.
Specific tasks and benefits
As Typhoon Merbok barreled across the Bering Sea and western Alaska, hurricane-strength winds, extreme storm surge, and high waves impacted more than 35 Alaska Native communities along a 1,300-mile stretch of coast. Flooding and winds destroyed or damaged homes, infrastructure, property, utilities, and subsistence fish camps, while eroding large sections of coast.
Funding will be used to provide coastal mapping products and operational and long-term forecasts to aid communities in assessing increased risks to coastal hazards after Typhoon Merbok and to guide rebuilding efforts. Products will include permanent high-water flood markers, stakeholder co-developed interactive mapping tools of shoreline change and modeled flood and erosion risks, and tools for capturing real-time coastal observations and forecasting of flood hazards.
The USGS will also work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish 5–6 new real-time water level observing stations to integrate with the National Water Level Observation Network and fill observational data gaps for community risk reduction; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will assume management and maintenance of the newly completed stations.