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presented to the Speaker of the House of Representatives by letter of transmittal from the Secretary of War dated January 29, 1935, and he subsequently printed as House Document No. 91, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session. The report presented comprehensive plass This for flood control, hydroelectric power, navigation, and related phass of river development. No mention, however, was made of Chestnut point Creek which is a relatively minor tributary of New River, parent horst stream of the Kanawha River.
4. Scope of report. The scope of this report is limited by the tent of the authorizing resolution to determining if improvement of Chestnut Creek, Va., with a view to flood control, is advisable at this time
buentl 5. Other than the report under review, no reports by the United Lanni States Engineer Department or other agencies bearing directly or
NUX indirectly on flood control or other developments of the water resources of Chestnut Creek are known to exist.
all on he for
DESCRIPTION OF CHESTNUT CREEK BASIN
tream thie i
6. General description.- The Chestnut Creek drainage basin lies in frigule the New River headwater area in southwestern Virginia and northen histo North Carolina, on the northwestern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mous. 9. In tains (see map of drainage area, exhibit No. 1). The total area is
of Christ approximately 60 square miles, of which about 40 square miles are in anul Carroll County, Va., 19 square miles in Grayson County, Va., approda a table mately 1 square mile in Alleghany County, N. C., and a fraction of a square mile in Surry County, N.C. In shape, the basin is an irregular oblong, narrow in the lower reaches and comparatively wide in the upper areas. Its greatest length from north to south is about 16 miles, and the maximum width 6.6 miles.
7. The topography of the basin is hilly to mountainous with rolling hills and moderately wide valleys predominating. Elevations range from 2,075 feet mean sea level (approximate low water) at the mouth of Chestnut Creek to a maximum of 3,565 feet mean sea level on Fishers Peak, on the border between Virginia and North Carolins The larger valleys of the basin lie generally below elevation 2,800 and the main stream valley below its East and West Forks does not exceed 2,500 feet in elevation. There are no natural or important artificial bodies of water in the basin except Chestnut Creek and its tributaries. There are no existing or prior flood-control projects for the watershed
Eset Tork Watford BC
8. Description of Chestnut Creek.--Chestnut Creek is formed by the 10. Geri confluence of its East and West Forks in the southeastern corner Grayson County Va., about one and one-half miles north of the Virginia-North Carolina State line and flows in a northerly direction Muthutesti a distance of 22.8 miles to its confluence with the New River, 2004 miles above its mouth. The stream follows a winding, crooked course fors of constrictions at Cox Mill and McKnights Mill, 3.7 and 6,6 miles, pd schists: most of the distance from the forks to its mouth. With the exception als are the forks downstream through Galax, wth several small, nearly level, though ti respectively, above Galax, the valley is comparatively wide from IS TOC basins which vary up to about one-half mile in maximum width
BACH et Cree
The town of Galax lies in the largest of these basins, an area approximately 1 mile long and with a maximum width of about one-half mile. This basin in which Galax is situated is comparable to a natural reservoir, and the flooded area is more extensive than at any other point along the stream. Immediately below Galax the valley is constricted, and downstream, with the exception of two short reaches where maximum widths of 500 to 600 feet are obtained, the valley does not exceed 250 feet in width. . Along the lower & miles of the stream, approximately two-thirds of its length below Galax, the valley is steep-walled and gorgelike, with the hill slopes beginning practically at water's edge in many places. Rock outcrops occur frequently in the stream bed for most of the length of Chestnut Creek. Channel widths vary roughly from 25 to 100 feet, and the heights of banks vary up to about 10 feet. The total fall of the main stream is approximately 385 feet, or 17 feet per mile. Of this fall, almost onehalf occurs in the lower one-third of the length of the stream. From the forks through Galax to a point 8.5 miles above the mouth, the stream slope is remarkably uniform, being about 13 feet per mile, while for the remainder of the distance to the mouth the slope is more irregular and much steeper, averaging 24 feet per mile. A profile of Chestnut Creek is shown on exhibit No. 2.'
9. In addition to the East and West Forks, the prinicpal tributaries of Chestnut Creek are Glady Fork, Coal Creek, Wards Mill Branch, and Mill Creek. The drainage areas of all of these streams are shown in table I and profiles of East and West Forks and Coal Creek, the most important of the tributaries, are shown on exhibit No. 2,!
TABLE I.-Drainage areas of Chestnut Creek and its principal tributaries
10. Geology: Geologically, the Chestnut Creek Basin is a portion of the Blue Ridge province. Physically it is a portion of a deeply dissected plateau formed by the division of the Blue Ridge Mountains southwestward from Roanoke. The elevations of the ridges above the valleys range from 500 to 700 feet. The valleys are unusually wide for such elevations, almost wholly above 2,500 feet, and isolated peaks are characteristic. The bedrocks are pre-Cambrian gneises and schists, probably sedimentary in origin, with some intrusions of igneous rocks. There are no fault lines of importance in the basin, although to the northwest beyond the New River, numerous fault lines parallel the mountain ranges. 1 Not printed.
11. Available maps. The entire area of the Chestnut Creek Basa has been surveyed and mapped by the United States Geological Su. vey. That portion of the basin included in the State of North Carlina is shown on the Virginia-North Carolina Hillsville sheet, a recornaissance map prepared originally in 1885–87 to a scale of 1:125,00 and with a contour interval of 100 feet. The latest available editia is that of 1896, reprinted 1923. This map covers the area between parallels 36°30' and 37°00' north latitude and between 80°30' azi 81°00' west longitude. The Virginia area is covered by the Gala quadrangle sheet extending northward from the Virginia-North C# olina boundary to 36°45' north latitude and from 80°45' to 81°N west longitude; and the Max Meadows quadrangle sheet which i do cludes the area between 36°45' and 37°00' north latitude and 80°F 1. and 81°00' west longitude. The latest editions of these quadrangis are dated 1933 and 1930, respectively. A map of the town of Galar
, lox drawn to a scale of 1 inch equals 200 feet by a local engineer, anda set of nine maps on a scale of 1 inch equals 20 feet with contour * G tervals of 2 feet covering the channel area in Galax (prepared by the Appalachian Electric Power Co. in 1940 at the instigation of tot officials and local industries) are also available.
12. History of economic development.Settlement of the Blue Ride un Plateau area of which Chestnut Creek Basin is a part began before the middle of the eighteenth century. Wythe County, to the northwan as it now exists, was organized in 1790 and from it Grayson County pintar was formed a few years later. Carroll County was formed from Grayson County in 1842. The early pursuits of the basin were fara ! ing, stock raising, and lumbering, and they continue as basic activitis. The present industrial activity, almost wholly confined to the tom and vicinity of Galax, is of recent origin. A branch line of the Norfolk I. & Western Railway entered the valley at about the time of the founding of Galax in 1903. Furniture factories formed the basis for the lork early growth of the town and continue to be of major important. The dairy products industry, now of major importance, seems to have been established through efforts of local farmers to find a substitute source of income after their stock-raising activities became less munerative. A generally favorable location and an active population have brought other industries in increasing numbers.
13. Population.-The population of the Chestnut Creek Basin is approximately 6,750 persons, of whom all but about 50 are in that there portion included in the State of Virginia. The inhabitants of the los Virginia area are divided, about 3,200 in Carroll County and about 3,500 in Grayson County.
The average population density in the High basin is approximately 112 per square mile, while that for the entire Gal State is 67.1 per square mile. The increase in population since has been about 16 percent, while the increase over the entire State in the same period has been 10.6 percent. The only urban center is the pures town of Galax which is spread across the Carroll-Grayson County line.it Galax has had a continuous growth and today possesses an industrial importance out of proportion to its size. The growth of Galar is per illustrated in the tabulation below:
Percent increase: 1910..
3, 195 14. Resources and industry.--The principal economic pursuits of the basin at the present time are manufacturing, farming, dairying, and stock raising. The timber resources of the basin, though not xxceptional in the area, form the basis of the furniture-manufacturing ndustry, largest of the basin industries. The timber is chiefly second-growth hardwood although there are still some small stands of virgin forest in the mountainous headwa'ers. The comparatively wide level bottom lands are well suited for farming, and the rolling will lands provide excellent pasture for stock raising and dairying. An iron mine of moderato size has been worked at Iron Ridge, 6 miles below Galax, for a number of years. A deposit of cyanite suitable or the manufacture of porcelain was discovered ir the western edge of Galax, but it has not been developed.
15. Practically all manufacturing activities in the basin are located in Galax, where the wide level bottom lands, served by a railroad along the left bank of the creek, together with an adequate supply of lectric power transmitted in from outside the basin, have provided attractive sites for industrial developments. In addition to five furniture-manufacturing plants there are a large evaporated milk plant, a bosiery mill, it yard-goods textile mill, and other smaller manufacturing plants in Galax. There are no power plants of importance in the basin, power requirements being served by transmission from large hydroelectric power plants near by on New River.
16. Although the value of marufac ured products exceeds somewhat that of the products of the basin's farms, agriculture in its various forms is, from the standpoirt of employment, the major economic activity. The crops grown are of a wide variety though potatoes, wheat, and rye lead in quantities and value. The value of the livestock is approximately equivalent to chat of other farm products. Dairy farming has been of increasing importance in recent years and is the basis of the dairy products industry.
17. Transportation. The only railroad in the Chestnut Creek watershed is the branch line of the Norfolk & Western which parallels the stream from its mouth to Galax, a distance of about 13 miles. United States Highways Nos. 58 and 221 cross the basin over the same roadway through Galax from east to west. State Highway No. 96 enters the basin from the south and intersects United States Highways Nos. 58 and 221 in Galax. State Highway No. 97 enters the basin by way of Pipers Gap and follows Wards Mill Branch to intersect Highway No. 96 on the left bank of Chestnut Creek 1 miles above Galax. The total length of improved highways in the basin is about 25 miles.
18. Water resources.-There are no known developments of water resources in the Chestnut Creek Basin other than McKnights Mill, an intermittently operated grist mill powered by the flow from a low dam on Chestnut Creek, 6.6 miles above Galax. A second similar project existed at one time at Cox Mill on Chestnut Creek, 3.7 miles above Galax but only the 10-foot high dam remains. The small drainage area and correspondingly low stream flows make hydroelectric projects of commercial importance impracticable. Only the town of Galax (3,195 population, 1940 census) utilizes a surface-water supar. The channel very rarely freezes over and the low flow has been greedy in excess of the town's requirements which at present are about sirtenths cubic feet per second.
19. Stream pollution.- The only material source of stream pollution in the basin is at Galax where domestic sewage and industrial wastas are discharged into the creek. This pollution is of minor importance state v since there are no towns or other water users on Chestnut Creek belum Galax and the stream's wastes are satisfactorily diluted at its morth fresh by the much larger flow from New River.
METEOROLOGY AND HYDROLOGY
2. The annus
20. Climate.—The climate of the Chestnut Creek Basin is typial of the central temperate zone. Temperatures are highly varisble and the precipitation nonseasonal, varying from year to year and from month to month. The mean annual temperature is about 54 Ral tase degrees with seasonal variations ranging from an average of about 34 degrees in January to about 72 degrees in July. Midsummer temperatures rarely exceed 100 degrees and subzero temperatures docente not occur with great frequency. Extremes, however, of 105 degrees above and 27 degrees below zero have occurred in the general ana and may be expected in the Chestnut Creek Basin. The a Ferize length of the growing season is about six months, usually extending from the middle of April to the middle of October. Precipitation is generally ample for all needs and serious droughts are rare. Snow Ratings on fall is usually light and rarely remains on the ground for more than a week or two even in the more elevated areas.
21. Precipitation.-There is only one precipitation station in the Chestnut Creek Basin at the present time, a standard nonrecording acounts gage installation established at Galax by the United States Weather ? inches Bureau on March 29, 1940. Because of the short period of record
, -tuek Ba the records of this station have been of little value in this investza- stations
, o tion except in studies of the August 1940 flood. However, the pain is by general area in which the Chestnut Creek Basin is located is well harimum served by Weather Bureau stations. Pertinent data for 14 stations in the Chestnut Creek area in addition to the Galax station are fain
, the shown in table II. The locations of these stations are shown on exhibit No. 1. The distances of the 14 stations from the basin rary from about 12 to approximately 47 miles. Of the 14 stations 4 are the highest no longer in operation and 8 are located outside the Kanawha River 33: The Basin. Four of the stations outside the Kanawha Basin, Stuart, over the Blue Ridge Mountains, the station at Pinnacles being not able III. Elkin, Mount Airy, and Pinnacles, are to the south and east
, just far from the crest. It will be noted that these stations have higher per the CF mean annual precipitations than any Kanawha station except estret Jefferson.
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