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  • Buying on a river with tall cut bank

    Looking for advice about buying property on rivers. Looking at the lil Sue outside wasilla. One im looking at is on a high cut bank. I know they can erode but is there ways to determine how much, likely hood of it. is there such a thing a someone certified to evaluate it. What about insurance for such things?
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  • #2
    Originally posted by tboehm View Post
    Looking for advice about buying property on rivers. Looking at the lil Sue outside wasilla. One im looking at is on a high cut bank. I know they can erode but is there ways to determine how much, likely hood of it. is there such a thing a someone certified to evaluate it. What about insurance for such things?
    Look at historical satellite photos of the area. You can tell the rate of erosion. Google now goes back 10 years. The corps should have them back at least 25 more.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

    Edwin Hubble

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    • #3
      I think you are looking for something that is not going to be available in the real world.What you are asking for is a weather report years into the future. If it is a cut bank it will continue to erode as to the rate there is no answer.I think that the answer on the insurance is a no go.

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      • #4
        Ron, that will only tell you what has happened in the past not down the road.

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        • #5
          Always try for the inside bend
          Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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          • #6
            I'd look elsewhere where it me. Waterfront property on Valley streams and rivers tends to get sporty every Fall....And if it is a cutbank, then it's a no brainer that you'll continue to lose land. Lakefront would be a better choice if you have your heart set on a water view.
            “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
            "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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            • #7
              How high is "high"?

              It is likely that the river has cut through a glacial feature such as a moraine or esker. They are just large gravel piles and are prone to erosion.

              Is the bank angle rather steep? and clean of forest debris? That means that it is eroding rather quickly due to under cutting of the bank by the river. And by quickly I mean in Earth time not human time.

              If the bank face is covered in forest debris like logs and brush then it may not be eroding very quickly and allowing the material falling off the top to just sit there for a few years. However, you need to determine if the debris is fresh or old. If its fresh and still green living trees then that happened recently. If the debris is dead then it happened a while ago and nothing has happened to cause it to fall the rest of the way down into the river.

              The Mat-Su Borough land use office has flood zone maps for determining if properties require additional insurance. They may also have collected information about people moving structures due to erosion.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Big Bend View Post
                Ron, that will only tell you what has happened in the past not down the road.
                Often times you can gauge erosion rates on an average. Just the same way you can look at plate movement. This can also show possible flooding, if the photos are there. A friend of mine wanted to buy a piece of land on lake Huron. He had the same question. I gave him the same answer. He looked at the photos and got an average. The cabin on the property, ended up going into lake Huron. The math was only off two years based on the photos.
                "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

                Edwin Hubble

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                • #9
                  The bank is about 60 to 70 feet high. The current owner states that he hasn't lost any bank in 10 years. The house sits about 75 feet from the edge. Guessing I would say the angle is about 65-70 degrees.
                  Semper Fi and God Bless

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                  • #10
                    Before I bought my property I really wanted river-front. Then I saw how much the rivers I like to fish change from year to year and noticed how much the bank can be cut by the change in current so I chickened out and bout close to one instead of on one. River flow can change with flooding or obstruction in the river and it seems nothing is stronger than moving water!

                    Good luck and keep us posted please.

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                    • #11
                      If you give me the Lat/Long coordinates I can try and dig up any photos showing historical movement. According to the University of Alaska, Alaska is now +2.5 degrees warmer and 11% dryer then the start of the 20th century. I would try and find a photo of the area circa 1950 and compare. 75' is close to the water.
                      "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

                      Edwin Hubble

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                      • #12
                        It does not matter what has been in the past . I have seen right here in the valley that 75ft. was gone in a couple of days. You can have a log jam form or a big root wad jam up at the right place and time. The little Su drains a very large expanse of area. Just saying that 75 ft is not a long distance when conditions are right.

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                        • #13
                          It can go the other way as well, you have river front property that becomes a monster hike from the river if the river moves the other way. One sure thing about AK rivers they are always moving.
                          Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
                          Unknown author

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jkb View Post
                            It can go the other way as well, you have river front property that becomes a monster hike from the river if the river moves the other way. One sure thing about AK rivers they are always moving.
                            If the river moves stright across from you most cases you just got some free land. Know of many folks who have picked up and extra twenty or thirty acres of land and some who have lost all of it.
                            Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
                              If you give me the Lat/Long coordinates I can try and dig up any photos showing historical movement. According to the University of Alaska, Alaska is now +2.5 degrees warmer and 11% dryer then the start of the 20th century. I would try and find a photo of the area circa 1950 and compare. 75' is close to the water.
                              I appreciate the help. 69.39'1.68N 149.35'36.12W
                              Semper Fi and God Bless

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