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CHESTNUT CREEK, VA.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, December 14, 1943. the CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON FLOOD CONTROL,

House of Representatives, United States, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: 1. The Committee on Flood Control of the House of Representaives, by resolution adopted November 19, 1940, requested the Board f Engineers for Rivers and Harbors to review the report on the Kanawha River Basin, submitted in House Document No. 91, ševenty-fourth Congress, first session, with a view to determining if mprovement of Chestnut Creek, Va., with a view to flood control, is dvisable at this time. I enclose the report of the Board in response hereto.

2. After full consideration of the reports secured from the district md division engineers, the Board recommends the construction of a ocal protection project at Galax, Va., on Chestnut Creek, consisting of levee construction, wall construction, channel improvement, and ailroad-bridge reconstruction, generally in accordance with the plans f the district engineer but with the height of levees up to 3 feet higher than proposed, all at an estimated first cost to the United States of $276,125, provided local interests give assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will: (a) Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary for construction of the project; (6) make all necessary changes in highways, highway bridges, and drainage facilities; (c) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works; (d) maintain and operate all the works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.

3. After due consideration of these reports, I concur in the views and recommendations of the Board. Very truly yours,

E. REYBOLD,

Major General,
Chief of Engineers.

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bide REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBÖRS

WAR DEPARTMENT,
THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS, ad

Washington, May 3, 1941.is
Subject: Chestnut Creek, Va.
To: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.

1. 1. This report is in response to the following resolution adopted tent November 19, 1940:

Resolverl by the Committee on Flood Control of the House of Representara, United States, That the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, created under brenn section 3 of the River and Harbor Act approved June 13, 1902, be, and is heshy

, pom requested to review the report on the Kanawha River Basin, subunitted in House fent Document Numbered 91, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, with a new

ann to determining if improvement of Chestnut Creek, Virginia, with a view to food control, is advisable at this time.

idee 2. Kanawba River is formed by the confluence of the New and do

he to Gauley Rivers in southern West Virginia, flows 97 miles in a general northwesterly direction, and enters the Ohio River at Point Pleasant

, 90, a W. Va., 266 miles below Pittsburgh. New River, the largest tribu

Dods tary, rises in North Carolina, and flows northeasterly through lirginia and West Virginia. Chestnut Creek is formed by the confluence 25,400

ahane of its East and West Forks in southwestern Virginia and flows 92.8 miles northerly to its confluence with the New River 200.4 miles con above the mouth of the latter. The creek is winding and crocked womm throughout its length and constrictions in the stream course diride tilec the upper valley into several small comparatively level basins tarying up to one-half mile in width. The town of Galax is located in

nited the largest basin, which is about 1 mile long and one-half mile wide

. The lower 8 miles of the valley is steep-walled and gorgelike. The drainage basin of Chestnut Creek contains 60.2 square miles, and has a population of about 6,750 engaged principally in manufacturing, farming, dairying, and stock raising. Mean annual precipitation in the basin is about 41 inches. Galax, with a population of 3,19 in sambo 1940, contains 5 furniture manufacturing plants, an evaporated milk. The plant, a hosiery mill, a yard-goods textile mill, and other small manufacturing plants. The area is served by one branch line railway and a number of improved highways.

3. Floods occur annually in Chesnut Creek Basin usually as a result of both northerly moving tropical disturbances and the general al pro Ohio and Mississippi Valley storms. Based on floods of record and that present valley occupancy, the average annual flood damages in the prosed town of Galax are estimated at $13,400. Damages elsewhere are negligible. About 10 destructive floods, caused principally by storms of the West Indies hurricane type, have occurred since 1878 and red by caused widespread destruction to crops and improvements. flood in August 1940 damaged 96 dwellings, 4 furniture plants

, the milk-condensing plant, 4 stores, and 5 bulk gasoline plants, all in the lo seg town of Galax. The first floors of 89 dwellings were flooded, the furniture was ruined, 500 people were driven from their homes, and some of the manufacturing plants were out of operation for a week

, The damages from this flood have been estimated at $209,000 in the uprising town of Galax. Local interests have performed a small amount of channel dredging in the lower part of the town and have replaced 2, at bridges which obstructed flood flows. A majority of local interests

of request flood protection for the town of Galax, Va., by means

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widening and deepening of the creek channel through the town, and the possible construction of supplementary levees. The construction of a flood-control reservoir at one of two possible sites above the town is advocated as an alternative project. Local interests agree to furnish all required local cooperation, hold the United States free from damages, and operate and maintain the works after completion.

4. The district engineer has investigated various plans of improvement for protection of the flood-plain area along Chestnut Creek. He finds that the most suitable one is the construction of levees along both banks of Chestnut Creek and the alining, deepening, and enlarging of the present channel through the town of Galax, Va., all as shown on the accompanying map. The first cost of this improvement is estimated at $322,000, of which $167,875 is for the levee, channel, and wall work, $72,750 for the reconstruction of the railroad bridge, $3,750 for highway and highway bridge changes, $35,625 for drainage facilities, and $42,000 for lands and rights-of-way. The total annual carrying charges, including maintenance and operation, are estimated at $13,060. The improvement will provide complete protection to the town of Galax and based on possible future foods and future valley occupancy will produce annual benefits of $15,400, of which $14,400 is flood damage prevented and $1,000, enhancement in land value. The ratio of cost to benefits is 1 to 1.2. He concludes that the improvement is economically justified and he recommends it subject to the conditions that the town give assurances sa tisfactory to the Secretary of War that it will: (a) Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements and rights-of-way necessary for the construction of the project; (6) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works; and (c) maintain and operate all the works after completion, including the flood-carrying capacity of Chestnut Creek downstream from Galax from any future encroachments or obstructions which might reduce the protection afforded by the project, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War.

5. The division engineer is not convinced that the height of levees proposed by the district engineer is entirely adequate, based on records of maximum discharges from the stream basins of similar size in the region. He believes that prior to construction of the project, more complete stream flow data will be available. He therefore concludes that provision should be made to permit a selection of a height of levee at the time of construction as much as 3 feet higher than that proposed by the district engineer, if found desirable. The additional cost for the increased height of levees is estimated at $38,000. This construction will provide for a design flood one-third larger than proposed by the district engineer. The division engineer further believes that the requirement for protecting the flood-carrying capacity of Chestnut Creek downstream from Galax can be adequately provided for in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War for operation and maintenance of the project. He recommends that the existing food-control project for the Kanawha River Basin be modified to provide for construction of a local protection project at Galax, Va., comprising levee construction, wall construction, and channel improvement in general accordance with the plans of the district engineer, at an estimated first cost of $360,000, of which $44,500 must be borne by local interests in furnishing lands and rights-of-way.

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VIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS DOO RIVERS AND HARBORS

Der 6. The Board has carefully considered the reports of the divian and district engineers. Based on the stream flow records now avail and able, the improvement proposed by the district engineer will provide riou

.

iuri complete flood protection for the town of Galax, Va., and will pro

lo duce sufficient benefits to justify participation by the United States.

pre The Board, however, concurs with the division engineer in the view that provision should be made so as to permit a selection of heightof toep levee at the time of construction as much as 3 feet higher than that tiedono proposed by the district engineer. Due to the local nature of the benefits, the Board believes it equitable that local interests provide CLA all drainage facilities and relocate the highway, and highway bridee, 'tion o in addition to furnishing the lands and rights-of-way. Accordingly

, hotely the Board recommends the construction of a local protection project inte at Galax, Va., on Chestnut Creek, consisting of levee constructan, pisos wall construction, channel improvement, and railroad bridge recm- 12:30 struction, generally in accordance with the plans of the district en

cordit gineer but with the height of levees up to 3 feet higher than proposed

, all at an estimated first cost to the United States of $276,125, provided local interests give assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will: (a) Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary for construction of the project; (6) make all necessary changes in highways, highway bridges,

ads and drainage facilities; (c) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works; (d) maintain and operate all the works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War. For the Board:

JOHN J. KINGMAN,
Brigadier General, United States Army,

Senior Member.

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To: T

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REVIEW REPORT ON CHESTNUT CREEK, VA.

SYLLABUS

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Perolci States

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advisable

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Chestnut Creek is a comparatively small headwater tributary of New River

, major tributary of Kanawha River. The occurrence of major floods, with extremely high unit peak discharges, at relatively frequent intervals

, results in flooding of bottom lands along the stream to varying depths, but because of valley occupancy the resulting flood problem is not especially serious except at the torn of Galax, Va. At Galax the location of important industries and a residential section on the flood plain creates a flood problem unusually severe for the size of the town.

Investigations of possible measures for flood control on Chestnut Creek hare determined that the only flood-control improvement of Chestnut Creek which fand sine could possibly be economically justifiable at the present time would be local food protection at Galax consisting of a combined channel rectification and lerne project. The total estimated costs of this project, designed for complete protettion of the town from the greatest floods reasonably to be expected, are $322,000. of which $280,000 is the estimated cost of construction and $42,000 is the estimated House I cost of lands, easements, and rights-of-way. The estimated total annual costs of With mou the Galax local protection project are $13,060, the estimated annual benefts $15,400, and the ratio of costs to benefits 1 to 1.2.

The town of Galax is preparing to submit an application to the Work Projects Administration for the construction of a project essentially the same as that proposed in this report, but local interests doubt the town's ability to furnish the

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presently required sponsor's share of the total project costs. In view of the economic justification of the project, it appears that its construction by the War Department is advisable if the town fails to sponsor construction by the Work Projects Administration. However, because of the local nature of the benefits it appears that local interests should be required to bear the costs of rights-of-way and damages and to agree to operate and maintain the project after its completion. Preliminary assurances have been given that such local cooperation will be furnished.

In view of the foregoing, the report recommends that construction of the proposed Galax, Va., local protection project be undertaken by the War Department, if local interests fail in their attempt to secure a Work Projects Administration project, at the earliest date that current national defense activities and national economic conditions permit; that no money be expended on construction of the project by the War Department until the town of Galax has given assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that it will (a) provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary for the construction of the project, (b) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works, and (c) maintain and operate all the works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War; that an initial allotment of $25,000 for surveys, design, and the preparation of contract plans and specifications be made at this time; and that a single allotment of $255,000 for completion of construction be made at such time as national economic conditions will permit.

War DEPARTMENT,
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE,

Huntington, W. Va., May 31, 1941. Subject: Review of Report on the Kanawha River Basin to determine

if improvement of Chestnut Creek, Va., for flood control is

advisable at this time. To: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army (through the

Division Engineer, Ohio River Division).

AUTHORITY

1. Authority.--This survey report in review of a report on the Kanawha River Basin, W. Va., Va., and N. C., is submitted in compliance with a resolution of the Committee on Flood Control of the House of Representatives adopted November 19, 1940, which reads as follows:

Resolved by the Committee on Flood Control of the House of Representatives, United States, That the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, created under section 3 of the River and Harbor Act approved June 13, 1902, be, and is herehy, requested to review the report on the Kanawha River Basin, submitted in House Document Numbered 91, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, with a view to determining if improvement of Chestnut Creek, Virginia, with a view to flood control, is advisable at this time.

2. On the recommendation of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, this report was authorized by the Chief of Engineers on December 2, 1940. Since the report under review is a survey report and since sufficient information for a complete report could be obtained at nominal cost, the scope of this investigation is that of a survey.

3. Report under review. The report under review is a report covering the entire Kanawhe River Basin made under the provisions of House Document No. 308, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session, which, with modifications, was enacted into law in section 1 of the River and Harbor Act of January 21, 1927, and under the provisions of section 10 of the Flood Control Act approved May 15, 1928. The report was

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