Page images
PDF
EPUB

All levees that have been constructed since 1928 on the Mississippi River have been based on what we call a 30-year life or more. In the more thickly populated stretches of the river in a number of cases the locations of the levees have been based on a 50-year life, such as in that thickly-populated stretch in the St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Charles Parishes above the city of New Orleans.

That is only a set-back, but I do believe that the grades will have to be revised somewhat higher on both sides below that point. I think that is what you had in mind, and I think it should be done.

Senator Bilbo. I was very much interested in your observations a while ago when you gave as your opinion that the only solution to a super flood, that it is entirely possible will come, is the reservoir scheme as the only way of controlling it.

You said you had lost hope of getting those reservoirs on the upper stretches of these streams to feed into the main stem of the Mississippi River. Since you have lost hope of solving the flood problem through reservoirs—and I think you are entirely correct-do you not think that the Eudora spillway is necessary for the protection of not only the Mississippi side but also the Louisiana side? Mr. JACOBS. If I thought we would have a flood next year

in excess of that of 1927, or if I thought we were going to have a superflood next year, I would say that we would be very thankful to have a floodway through the Eudora, but I am willing to take the chance, as changes are so rapidly being made in the river, of permitting the engineers to complete their work before sacrificing 700,000 or 800,000 acres of that land and causing an expenditure by the Federal Government of 103 million dollars. I would take my chances for a couple of years more, until the engineers had made their report.

Senator Bilbo. In the event there was a superflood, what would 103 million dollars be compared to the losses that would be suffered when the levees broke?

Mr. Jacobs. Well, if the Mississippi River Commission had the money to start to proceed today on that floodway, they would not be able to comple it for a number of years.

Senator Bilbo. Of course, we have to take that risk. In my mind there is no doubt but that some day you are going to have a synchronization of floods on all the streams—the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Red, and White and you will have a flood where you will need the Eudora floodway even if you raise the levees along either side of the present bed of the Mississippi River.

Do you have any plan of getting the right-of-way for the Eudora? We shall try to help each other, you understand.

Mr. Jacobs. That is a question which I think should be left to Congress.

Senator BILBO. All right; I did not mean to put you on the spot.

Representative WHITTINGTON. Mr. Chairman, under the Overton bill you said that the only reservoir that was authorized was along the Yazoo River. May I remind you that, under the terms of the bill, without any modification, the St. Francis Reservoir is being constructed, and that the amendment fostered by Senator Bilbo, which I favored, merely puts the Yazoo on a par in every particular, the exact language of both bills being the same. And personally I do wish we had more of our reservoirs authorized and that out of the legislation I favor they built reservoirs throughout the country, including the one on the Red River. Also may I call attention to the fact that, under the omnibus bill which contains identically the same provision that the Overton bill contains with respect tto reservoirs, the Conchas Reservoir in New Mexico was authorized, at a cost of 15 or 20 million dollars, and the Blue Stone Reservoir, in West Virginia was also authorized, and the Sardis was authorized. In other words, the Conchas and the Sardis are put on a relief basis, and authorized under that legislation.

Senator OVERTON. It is true that in conference it was agreed that since they had already been started, the work should be continued; it was agreed that the Sardis Reservoir, in the Yazoo Basin, should be continued, since it had been started.

Representative WHITTINGTON. Under the Overton bill, which I supported, about 270 million dollars was authorized. And if expended, the other portion of that money would have been expended in Louisiana, 23 million in the Eudora, and 20 to 40 million down the Atchafalaya. So the greater portion of the money would have been expended in Louisiana.

Mr. Jacobs. It is true, Mr. Whittington. But we would rather have that money expended creating other works, rather than creating the works in Louisiana.

Senator OVERTON. In other words, you would prefer, if it were possible to do so, to have the floodway down the Yazoo Basin?

Mr. Jacobs. I would approve 500 million, to have a floodway down the Yazoo, rather than to have anything done to the Eudora.

Representative WHITTINGTON. That is perfectly natural. But what would happen when the waters got back to the Mississippi, at Vicksburg?

Now, Mr. Jacobs, with respect to cooperating, is it not a fact that Arkansas and Mississippi Representatives cooperated with Louisiana to get the Federal Government to pay not only for the building of the levees along the tributaries of the Red, but for paying the cost of them after they were built?

Mr. JACOBS. Of course they approved it.

Representative WHITTINGTON. And is it not a fact that we supported and authorized the Government to acquire the rights-of-way to build the levees for the protection of Arkansas and Louisiana, along the south bank of the Arkansas?

Mr. JACOBS. Mr. Whittington, without the full cooperation of all those States, we would not have any flood-control works.

Representative WHITTINGTON. That is true. And we cooperated in the Bonnet Carre and the Morgan City spillway, did we not?

Mr. JACOBS. Yes.
Representative WHITTINGTON. That is fine.

Mr. Jacobs. But I do not think you gave the full cooperation that we should have had in the Bonnet Carre. The plans were originally for a larger amount being by-passed into Lake Pontchartrain than 250,000 second-feet.

Representative WHITTINGTON. No; my point is that I signed on the dotted line and did whatever you suggested.

Mr. Jacobs. You did. But there were a number of Mississippians who did not.

Representative WHITTINGTON. I am talking only about the Representatives here in Congress. And we did just what the chief of rivers and harbors suggested.

Mr. Jacobs. Yes, sir.

Senator Bilbo. I want to make this observation: It is very essential that the Senators and Congressmen from the Mississippi Valley, having troubles among themselves, should iron out their differences in private, and that they should present a solid front. Because it is very essential that we all stand together. That is one reason I was trying to commit you on the Eudora.

Mr. Jacobs. I think you are entirely correct, Senator. And I fully agree with Mr. Whittington. I do hope that before I leave Washington this time, we shall be able to get together and work out something which will be beneficial to all of us and which will permit this work to go ahead and be completed while Congress is in a humor to give us an allowance to go ahead and complete it.

Senator BILBO. I remember that, before, we had a great deal of trouble making progress with this until the eastern flood came along; and then everybody became flood-conscious, and we got help.

Mr. JACOBS. That is right.

Senator Bilbo. And I want to point out the fact that I inaugurated the plan of the Federal Government's helping in the improvements.

Mr. Jacobs. You are right.

Senator Bilbo. I did not think that one community should bear the burden, itself.

Mr. Jacobs. Exactly. Because it helps a number of adjoining States; and why should one community bear the burden of benefits that go to the adjoining States?

Senator BILBO. That is correct. I hope that policy is borne in mind by Congress

Senator OVERTON (presiding). We are very much obliged to you, Mr. Jacobs.

STATEMENT OF J. R. ADAMS, MEMBER OF BOARD OF STATE

ENGINEERS OF LOUISIANA, LAKE PROVIDENCE, LA.

Senator OVERTON (presiding). Mr. J. R. Adams. And is there anyone here from Natchez, Miss.? Is anyone in attendance at the hearings from Natchez?

(No response.) Representative WHITTINGTON. Senator Bilbo represents Natchez. Senator Bilbo. I will take care of Natchez.

Senator OVERTON (presiding). They have expressed their views in two resolutions which have already been filed and will be printed in the record.

Mr. Adams, will you give your name?

Mr. ADAMS. My name is J. R. Adams. I am a member of the Board of State Engineers, Louisiana. I live at Lake Providence, La.

Senator OVERTON (presiding). Mr. Adams, will you introduce yourself to the committee by stating what your profession is and how long you have been engaged in it and what study you have made of the flood-control problems of the lower Mississippi Valley?

Mr. ADAMS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I have been connected with the board of State engineers since July 1907. From July 1907 until 1924, I was an employee of the board of State engineers. In 1924 I became a member, and have since been engaged in flood-con

56088-38-7

trol work on the Mississippi River and its tributaries in the State of Louisiana.

Senator OVERTON (presiding). Are you familiar with the bill we have under consideration?

Mr. ADAMS. Yes, sir. Senator OVERTON. And that is a bill to go ahead with the Morganza, without having to wait on the Eudora?

Mr. ADAMS. Yes, sir.

Senator OVERTON. I should like you to give the committee the benefit of your views in reference to this bill.

Mr. ADAMS. Senator, there has been so much said by so many here, today, preceding me, that I did not think it necessary for me to say very much. But I did want to say to you that we certainly endorse your amendment, S. 3354, separating the Morganza from the Eudora floodway, and express the hope that it will receive favorable consideration by this committee. It is meritorious, and necessary to control the floods in the lower river.

The separation of the Morganza from the Eudora is a proper thing to do under the existing circumstances; and it is a correct thing to do from an engineering standpoint. Seventy-five percent or more of the rights-of-way in the Morganza have been obtained, as has been stated here by several, while only a small percentage has been obtained in the Eudora. And it does not appear that the necessary options will be secured in the Eudora within a reasonably short time. Therefore we feel that the Morganza work should be proceeded with immediately, for the relief of the lower river; and therefore we endorse your bill.

Senator OVERTON (presiding). Is that all, Mr. Adams?
Mr. ADAMS. I think so, unless there are any questions.
Senator OVERTON (presiding). Are there any questions?

Senator Bilbo. Mr. Adams, you have no objection to the building of the Eudora spillway?

Mr. ADAMS. I would not say that I had any objection to it; no. I think if the Government had 75 percent of the options on it, they probably would be building it.

Senator BILBO. It would be all right to get the land any way they can, wouldn't it?

Mr. ADAMS. So far as I am concerned, I am willing to leave that to the Army engineers.

Senator Bilbo. That is something that Congress has to attend to. Mr. ADAMS. Well, Congress, then.

Senator OVERTON. Mr. Adams, I tried that in the original Overton bill.

Mr. ADAMS. Yes; I know you did.

Senator OVERTON. And the Chief of Engineers and the War Department voiced their very stern opposition to condemnation of flowage easements in the Eudora floodway, because it would entail such an immeasureable responsibility upon the Federal Government.

Mr. ADAMS. Yes, sir.

Senator OVERTON. And in the report made in the last few days on a similar bill which was introduced by Senator Miller, the War Department and the Chief of Engineers again renewed their opposition, upon the same grounds.

Mr. ADAMS. Yes, sir. I think you would find, however, that the entire population throughout the district would be opposed to it.

up

Senator OVERTON. You say it is difficult to obtain 75 percent of the options. Do you know that it would be very difficult to condemn all of the flowage easements of lands necessary?

Mr. Adams. It would be far more difficult; yes. Certainly it would.

Senator OVERTON. There would either have to be a voluntary transfer of the flowage easements or condemnation of the flowage easements covering 822,037 acres of land?

Mr. ADAMS. Yes, sir.

Senator OVERTON. That land is held by numerous landowners, is it not?

Mr. Adams. Oh, yes, indeed. Yes. So much of the land down there, and the plantations in Louisiana in particular, has been cut in recent years and has been sold in 40-, 60-, and 80-acre tracts, and cut up in small portions. I have no idea how many owners there are in there; but I know there are a great many in East Carroll Parish, alone.

Senator BILBO. It has been the policy of Congress heretofore to condemn lands for the building of roads, spillways, reservoirs, and so forth, has it not?

Mr. ADAMS. I have never known of the condemnation of land for the building of levees.

Senator OVERTON. Do you happen to know whether or not they have finished with the condemnation proceedings in the Birds PointNew Madrid spillway?

Mr. Adams. No, sir; I do not know. The last I knew of it was that they were still going on with that. I was up in that floodway and there were still a good many people up in there.

Senator OVERTON (presiding). I think that is all, Mr. Adams.

STATEMENT OF WADE O. MARTIN, CHAIRMAN OF THE LOUISIANA,

FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION COMMISSION, ST. MARTINVILLE, LA.

Senator OVERTON (presiding). The next speaker will be Mr. Wade Martin. Will you give your full name to the reporter, please?

Mr. MARTIN. My name is Wade 0. Martin, of St. Martinville, La.

Senator OVERTON. What position do you hold in connection with flood control?

Mr. MARTIN. I am chairman of the Louisiana Flood Control and Water Conservation Commission.

Senator OVERTON. How long have you been interested in floodcontrol problems of the Mississippi Valley?

Mr. MARTIN. All my life.

Senator OVERTON. Now, Mr. Martin, we have under consideration this bill to separate the Morganza from the Eudora. You are familiar with the provisions of the bill, are you not?

Mr. MARTIN. Yes, sir.

Senator OVERTON. The committee would be very much obliged to you if you would give us the benefit of your information and views in reference to that bill.

Mr. MARTIN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, when I was arranging the map that is pinned on the wall, I was separating the map about at the line between Arkansas and Louisiana, so that I could

« PreviousContinue »