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Brigadier General FERGUSON. Will you repeat that, please?
Representative WHITTINGTON. I say, a much larger area in the Yazoo Basin would be protected than would be protected in the area east of Morganza or east of the Atchafalaya east guide levee. The map itself shows that there is a much larger area.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. The Yazoo Basin is much larger than the Atchafalaya Basin.
Representative WHITTINGTON. And so is the part of Arkansas that is to be protected, is it not?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Let me see. The area below that is now under hazard is• a very extensive area as compared with the Arkansas area. The area between the Mississippi River and the east guide levee on the Atchafalaya I have not measured, but it is a very large area.
Representative WHITTINGTON. It takes in, as you say, a great deal of land. A cross section of the Morganza floodway, though, is hardly as wide as a cross section of the Eudora.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. About 5 miles.
Representative WHITTINGTON. The whole cross section, both floodways?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. The Morganza is about five. Both are wider.
Representative WHITTINGTON. Both are wider than the Eudora? Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes.
Representative WHITTINGTON. Is not this the situation: In this middle section of the river at present a 1927 flood or the super-flood that you speak of must be carried, if there be no breaks, between main levees. When you get down to Old River there are two rivers, the Atchafalaya and the main Mississippi, to carry the water that must be carried above by the one river, and the Government of the United States has supplemented the main river by providing the Bonnet Carre at New Orleans and is providing for the Morgan City Floodway for the Atchafalaya.
Do you agree with the statement that was made by the Chief of Engineers at the time he submitted your recommendation to the effect that the very heart of the problem in the lower valley was where the first and greatest of all the breaks occurred in 1927, to wit, in the middle section?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. If I may answer that in this way, it is like asking which leg of a three-legged stool is the most important.
Representative WHITTINGTON. We think that one American citizen is as important as another, and we think, with all deference, that the Corps of Engineers desires to protect all the people in the alluvial valley from Cairo to the Gulf of Mexico.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes.
Representative WHITTINGTON. We want the recommendation of the Corps of Engineers for the solution of this problem that will give to the people of the middle section the relief that is comparable to that in the lower, or Morganza, section.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. We have given that.
Representative WHITTINGTON. That embraces the Eudora, does it not?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes.
Representative WHITTINGTON. Without it we have not equality or comparable relief, have we?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Not until you get it.
Representative WHITTINGTON. If we give Morganza the green light, we have got to give comparable relief in order to give Eudora the green light?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. No, sir. We have solved your engineering problem and have given you a solution that has not been contested by any engineer in America. The order of building works is an engineering problem.
Representative WHITTINGTON. I have no issue with you on that.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. The question of solving the political problem is a very complex one.
Representative WHITTINGTON. I have not asked you about the political problem, and I do not want to be so understood.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. The problem has stretched out now for a longer period than we had contemplated it would. We did not make the plans, so we could not operate. As it now stands we cannot give you relief such as might come from that lower outlet. The size of those rivers below, although there are two, is less by a large amount than the main river above, which is one river.
Representative WHITTINGTON. That is all I have to ask.
Senator MILLER. I should like to have introduced in the record, although not printed as a part of the record, this House of Representatives Document No. 1, of the Flood Control Committee, Seventyfourth Congress, first session. .
Senator OVERTON. There is no need to have it printed in this record since it is already available.
Senator MILLER. But I just wanted to have it appear as a part of these hearings.
Senator OVERTON. Yes; by reference.
The report that you made in 1935 was based on river conditions as they existed at that time. I assume that that is correct?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. The conditions have to some extent been changed by the work that has been done on the river. For instance, the carrying capacity of the river from the Arkansas on down to the mouth of the Red River has been increased by some 600,000 or 700,000 feet; that is correct, is it not?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. It is closer to 600,000.
Senator OVERTON. There is not as great a necessity for a Eudora floodway today as there was a number of years ago?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. I would not say that, Senator. The great flood that we cannot foresee or state when it will occur would make such a terrific disaster that we do not even dare say we can take it down the river until we get it as far as we finally can go with our river work. The magnitude of such a disaster would simply wipe out all the efforts that everybody connected with the valley has made. Our conception is that it is just as imperative that we do not get caught in another calamity.
The question of when it shall be done is, of course, another question. If you were to give us $300,000,000 tomorrow morning, I would say that we would put them all in by Christmas. But the problem, I think, is how to attempt to prevent a disaster from some lesser flood, but one a little greater than we had last year, which is more probable than the great big flood. So, I am asking for authority to do the things that are not in controversy, so that everybody can take a little greater flood next year than he had last year; not until eventually can anybody say whether or not we would need the Morganza, but we would not dare not to keep it authorized.
Senator OVERTON. I think I fully understand that. When it comes to a superflood, no man knows what will be the result. I have heard so much about the superflood that I do not know whether with reservoirs, floodways, or anything else we can protect the lower valley, but the point I am bringing out is this: The amount of change in the flow of the river south of the Arkansas River has been such that a Eudora if it existed today would be used less frequently than it would have been necessary to use it a number of years ago?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Undoubtedly.
Senator MILLER. May I make one suggestion, Senator? The General has spoken about the adjustment of the levees, the heights of levees in accordance with the flow lines—the present flow lines—as I understand, and he has the profiles of those adjustments. I wonder if it would not be a good thing for him to prepare in narrative form a statement about the places on the river where those adjustments shouid be made or where there now is under the law the authority to make those adjustments.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes, sir. In general, we think we have authority to make an apparent adjustment.
Senator MILLER. Could you prepare a statement in narrative form and give those various places, for the benefit of the committee?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes, sir.
Senator MILLER. I should like to have that go into the record, because I think it would be of help.
Senator OVERTON. So far as the Morganza is concerned, however, the flow conditions have not changed, so in the event there was a Morganza in operation would it be used less frequently than it would have been used several years ago?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. No, sir.
Senator OVERTON. There is just as great a necessity for a Morganza now as there was when you filed this report in 1935?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. To be absolutely correct, you would have to say that the enlargement of the Atchafalaya would give perhaps a minute difference at Morganza today—that is, something less than a foot as compared with the changes in the main river above.
Senator OVERTON. As I understand it, the net result which you obtained in the Atchafalaya Basin was a reduction in the flood stage of approximately 50,000 cubic feet per second?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. A small amount; I do not recall it exactly.
Senator OVERTON. A small amount, 50,000 cubic feet per second or lower?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. We do not think a foot is worth talking about on this river.
Senator OVERTON. That represents less than a foot?.
Senator OVERTON. On the other hand, from the Arkansas down to the mouth of the Red River you have effected a reduction of approximately 600,000 cubic feet per second in the flow?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Not to the Red River, you understand.
Senator OVERTON. No, not to the Red River; south of the Arkansas?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Down to the high-grade levee below Natchez. You understand, some of that levee was built with an idea of settlement, and it is higher than the grade down there. That has a very treacherous foundation.
Senator OVERTON. Do you say down to Natchez?
Senator OVERTON. You can take care of 600,000 cubic feet more than you could take care of several years ago?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes, sir. You understand that that does not mean that each place takes more than it took before, but as a whole; yes, sir.
Senator OVERTON. Just to get it so that we can understand it, the relative difference between what you have accomplished in the Atchafalaya and what you have accomplished in the middle section of the Mississippi River is the difference between, say, approximately 50,000 cubic feet and approximately 600,000 cubic feet?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Yes.
Representative WITTINGTON. Mr. Chairman, may I ask just one more question?
Senator OVERTON. Yes.
Representative WHITTINGTON. General, are we to understand now that since the hearings of January 1936 and up until this time—substantially in the last 2 years you have made this 600,000-cubic-foot reduction from the Arkansas River to below Natchez or that you have increased the capacity in those 2 years?
Brigadier General FERGUSON. It is the whole period. In 1936 the actual flow was—well, I have forgotten the amount, but we estimated that we could carry 2,150,000 cubic feet with 1 foot freeboard all the way through. That would have been at 59.6 at Arkansas City, but instead of that—we just made an estimate of that-afterward we carried it at about 54. The total increase goes all the way back to all the cut-offs. We do not like to predict them and get people too optimistic, but this total runs from the beginning of all the cut-offs.
Representative WHITTINGTON. That is what I thought. You did not mean to say that you had done this work since the former hearing. That includes all the cut-offs that have been made from the beginning of the cut-off work.
Brigadier General FERGUSON. Oh, yes; it is the total.
Representative WHITTINGTON. How many have you made since the former hearing?
Senator OVERTON (presiding). Representative Whittington, it is now time for the members of the committee to go to the floor; we shall have to recess at this time.
Representative WHITTINGTON. May I ask, then, that the General supply that information for insertion in the record ?
Senator OVERTON. Yes.
At 2 p. m. the hearing was resumed, at the end of the recess. Senator OVERTON (presiding). The committee will come to order. Mr. Klorer, will you take the stand?
STATEMENT OF JOHN KLORER, CONSULTING AND PLANNING ENGINEER, SEWERAGE AND WATER BOARD, NEW ORLEANS, LA.
Senator OVERTON (presiding). Will you give your name, residence, and what official position you occupy?
Mr. KLORER. John Klorer, consulting and planning engineer for the sewerage and water board, New Orleans.
Senator OVERTON. Mr. Klorer, how long have you been engaged in your work as engineer?
Mr. KLORER. Forty-two years.
Senator OVERTON. Were you ever connected with the State Board of Engineers of Louisiana?
Mr. KLORER. Yes, sir. I was connected in my early years with the Mississippi River Commission office in New Orleans and then with the board of State engineers, as a member of the board for 8 years, and then as chief State engineer for 2 years, and then I served in other capacities, as city engineer and as commissioner of public property in New Orleans, each of which assignments was 5 years in duration, and then I was chief engineer for the New Orleans Levee Board for 4 years, and I have held my present position with the sewerage and water board since September 1936 to date.
Senator OVERTON. Have you had occasion to make a study of flood-control problems in the lower Mississippi Valley?
Mr. KLORER. It has been a hobby with me.
Senator OVERTON. You have devoted considerable thought and attention to it for quite a number of years, have you?
Mr. KLORER. Yes, sir; so much so that I very often had to stand the criticism of my wife because I remember the dates of certain crevasses and forget the dates of the births of several of our children.
Senator OVERTON. Now, Mr. Klorer, we have under consideration a bill, the sole object of which is to separate the Morganza floodway from the Eudora floodway-I do not mean physically, but I mean legislatively, so that the engineers will be authorized to proceed with the construction of the Morganza when the required options of the Morganza have been obtained, without waiting upon or securing the requisite percentage of options for the Eudora floodway, and I should like you to make such statement as you deem proper in connection with this bill.
Mr. KLORER. Mr. Chairman, I find from experience that when it comes to speaking about matters of flood control, I am so easily led away from the main topic under consideration that it is far better for me to reduce to writing such comment or criticism or remarks