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We have responded to a great many telegrams and we have responded to letters by saying that the James River project had not been presented to the committee and was not in shape to be presented and would not be considered. It has now been presented to the Budget and we are glad to at this time have our friend and valiant colleage, Representative Almond, here and before he makes his statement with his witness, I will be glad to have your analysis and report on this project, Colonel Herb.
Colonel HERB. The James River report is made under the authority contained in the Flood Control Act approved June 22, 1936, and also in accordance with authority contained in the River and Harbor Act approved August 30, 1935.
The James River is formed by the junction of the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers about 4 miles east of Clifton Forge, Va. It flows 340 miles across the State and empties into the Hampton Roads, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. This river drains an area of about 10,000 square miles. The population of the basin in 1940 was 729,000. The largest city in the basin is Richmond, Va., with a population of about 200,000. About 58 percent of the watershed is agricultural land. About 40 percent of the basin consists of woodlands. Stream pollution is particularly heavy in the vicinity of Covington, Lynchburg, and Richmond.
The CHAIRMAN. The what is?
There are no existing Federal flood-control projects. On this river there is a navigation project which provides for a depth of 25 feet for a distance of about 86 miles from the mouth of the James River to the Richmond deep-water terminal, via the river and certain cut-offs.
Local improvements have been made at Richmond and Petersburg for the protection of these cities from floods. In 1927 the city of Richmond expended $3,150,000 for local flood-protection works. Also, the United States Navy at a cost of $115,000 constructed a levee on the right bank at Richmond to protect the naval training school.
James River and tributaries are subject to frequent destructive floods which occur during various seasons, and are the result of heavy rainfall run-off. The average annual flood damage in the basin is estimated at $577,100, of which $153,000 pertains to the Richmond urban area. Five lives were lost as a result of the floods of 1936 and 1944.
The plan of improvement provides for the construction of the Gathright Reservoir and Falling Springs reregulating dam on the Jackson River at river miles 43.7 and 35.1, respectively. The plan for the Gathright Reservoir provides for a rock-fill dam 248 feet high to form a reservoir with 417,000 acre-feet of storage, of which 110,000 acrefeet would be reserved for flood control and 261,000 acre-feet would be usable power storage. The Falling Spring Dam is planned as a concrete and earth-filled structure solely to reregulate flows.
The first cost of this project consisting of both dams is estimated at $11,000,000. The ratio of cost to benefits is 1.0:1.66. I think that gives the general picture.
The CHAIRMAN. What provision is made for power?
Colonel HERB. There is power being installed at the Gathright Dam. I think I mentioned that about 264,000 acre-feet would be usable power
storage. A hydroelectric plant with installed capacity of 34,000 kilowatts served by a tunnel will be provided.
The CHAIRMAN. And where is that reservoir located? Will you indicate that on the map?
Mr. BOUSQUET. On the Jackson River, sir; at this point [indicating].
The CHAIRMAN. How far is it from the mouth of the Jackson River? Colonel HERB. About 43 miles, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And what communities are there below the dam that will be directly protected ?
Colonel HERB. There are the communities of Covington, Clifton Forge, Lick Run, Buchanan, Glasgow, Lynchburg, and downstream points which will receive flood control as well as pollution abatement benefits. Richmond, of course, will also receive some flood-control benefit.
The CHAIRMAN. How far is it above Richmond ?
Colonel HERB. In Alleghany and Bath Counties, I believe; I will verify that. Mr. ALMOND. Alleghany and Bath Counties, Va.
The CHAIRMAN. Clifton Forge, you say, is below that dam? How far below the dam? Colonel HERB. About 12 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. What would you say the primary purpose of this dam was?
Colonel HERB. There is a serious flood problem in the basin, sir. The most practical solution of that problem is a multiple-purpose reservoir. The flood-control benefits are estimated at $90,000 annually.
The CHAIRMAN. To protect what areas generally?
Colonel HERB. Communities along the Jackson River below the dam and the James River Basin generally...
The CHAIRMAN. How much will be the reduction of flood heights at the mouth of the Jackson River, and what cities are there located along that river between the mouth of the Jackson River and Richmond, Va.? What cities are there that will be protected ?
Colonel HERB. I will have to supply that information for the record. I do not have the specific answer. It provides flood protection as far downstream as Scottsville, which is 185 miles above the mouth of the James River.
The CHAIRMAN. How far is that from Richmond ?
Colonel HERB. It will be about 80 miles from Richmond, approximately.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you got in the record as to what the reduc: tion and the given flood height will be at that point ?
Colonel HERB. No, sir; I will supply that for the record.
James River is formed by the confluence of Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers near Lick Run, Va. The Gathright Reservoir would have reduced the 1936 flood stage at this point by 4.3 feet and March 1913 flood stage by 7.7 feet.
The average annual benefits from flood control would amount to about $90,000. Of this amount, $63,000 would accrue to the areas along the Jackson River in the vicinity of Covington and Clifton Forge; $12,000 along the James River between the mouths of the Cowpasture River and the North River, including Lick Run, Eagle Rock, Buchanan, and Glasgow; $11,000 in the vicinity of Lynchburg; and $4,000 along the James River downstream to Scottsville. Benefits would accrue to urban and agricultural areas, including railroad, highway, utility, and communication facilities.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the storage capacity of this dam?
The report of the Chief of Engineers together with the comments of the Governor of Virginia are as follows:
Washington, April 18, 1946.
1. I submit for transmission to Congress my report with accompanying papers on preliminary examination and survey of James River, Va., authorized by the Flood Control Act approved June 22, 1936. It is also a report on investigation in accordance with section 6 of the River and Harbor Act approved August 30, 1935, to supplement the previous survey report on James River, Va., made under the provisions of House Document 308, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session.
2. James River is formed by the junction of Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers about 4 miles east of Clifton Forge, Va., flows easterly 340 miles across the State, draining 10,060 square miles and at Newport News, Va., empties into Hampton Roads, an arm of Chesapeake Bay. Along its upper 60 miles, the topography con
sists of valleys and ridges between the Allegheny Plateau and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thence the river occupies a narrow canyon for 15 miles through the Blue Ridge Mountains, to about 13 miles above Lynchburg, and below traverses the rolling Piedmont Plateau to Richmond, where in the fall zone between miles 112 and 105 it drops 105 feet. Below Richmond the stream crosses the coastal plain in a tidal channel. At mile 71.6, James River receives its largest tributary, Appomattox River. Jackson River, 87 miles long with drainage area of 907 square miles along the Allegheny Plateau, flows south past Falling Spring to about 4 miles below Covington and thence east 19 miles to the head of James River.
3. The population of the James River Basin in 1940 was about 729,000, of which 193,000 resided at Richmond, its largest city and capital of the State. In 1939, there were 326 industrial plants in the vicinity of Richmond. Small industrial areas are located at Lynchburg, Glasgow above the Blue Ridge Mountains, Covington, Buena Vista, on North River, a tributary just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and at Petersburg on Appomattox River. About 58 percent of the watershed is agricultural, and about 40 percent is woodland. Iron ore, coal, limestone, manganese, and other minerals are found in the area. The 25 hydroelectric plants in the basin have a total installed capacity of 50,000 kilowatts. The essentially unregulated flows of the basin streams are used by many industries. Richmond and Scottsville obtain their water supplies from James River, and several communities from tributary streams. Stream pollution by domestic sewage and industrial wastes is particularly heavy in the vicinities of Covington and Lynchburg and at and below Richmond. Improved highways and seven major railroads serve the basin.
4. Federal navigation projects provide for a depth of 25 feet for a distance of 86.4 miles from the mouth of James River to the Richmond deep-water terminal via the river and certain cut-offs and thence 18 feet for 4.4 miles to the Rich. mond lock; and for a channel 12 feet deep and 11 miles long to Petersburg on Appomattox River; with a dam at Petersburg and a diversion channel past the dam including about 1.7 miles of levees between the navigation and diversion channels which provides partial flood protection for a portion of Petersburg. The district engineer finds that after contraction works and cut-offs of the James River project have become fully effective the recurrence of past flood discharges will result in slightly lower stages at Richmond for most floods than the stages which actually or curred and in higher stages in a few cases. The James River project is about 90 percent completed and the Appomattox River project, 83 percent complete. In 1851 a private company completed construction of the James River and Kanawha Canal along James River from Richmond to Buchanan above the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although long abandoned for transportation use, short sections of the canal remain on the left river bank at Richmond. A short section within the city and accessible from the head of the Federal navigation project through a lock is owned by the city and still serves as a dock area for small boats. Above this a section is used to supply water to the city and to industries for hydroelectric power and other purposes. At Richmond water is also diverted into Manchester Canal on the right bank of the river for commercial and industrial use and the development of hydroelectric power.
5. James River and its tributaries are subject to frequent destructive floods which occur during various seasons and result from heavy rainfall run-off. Historical records indicate that the most severe known flood occurred in 1771. It had an estimated discharge at Richmond of 350,000 cubic feet per second as compared with 225,000 and 175,000 cubic feet per second for the more recent maximum floods which occurred in 1877 and 1936, respectively. The largest flood on James River above Lynchburg since 1877 occurred in 1913 and was severe on Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers. Between 1934 and 1944, inclusive, Richmond experienced 10 damaging floods. Flood plains on the upper tributaries and on James River above Lynchburg are narrow. Thence to Richmond the James River flood plain is about one-half mile wide and intensively cultivated. Most of the agricultural flood damages occur in that sertion. In general the cities and towns in the basin are on high ground. Covington, Lynchburg, Buena Vista, and Richmond are the major urban damage centers with most of the urban flood losses occurring at Richmond. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad follows James and Jackson Rivers from Richmond to Covington and is subject to flood damages. Shorter sections of other railroads and highways are also in the flood plains. Five lives were lost as a result of the floods of 1936 and 1944. The March 1936 flood caused estimated agricultural damages of $382,000, damages to communications and utilities of $952,000, in urban areas of $1,521,000, and required relief expenditures of $53,000, a total of $2,908,000 of which $2,417,000 occurred along James River and $1,180,000 at Richmond. The district engineer estimates the average annual flood damages at $441,400 on James River, $74,100 along Jackson River, $33,000 on North River, and $28,600 on Appomattox River, a total of $77,100. Of the total, $153,000 pertains to the Richmond urban area.
6. There is no authorized Federal project primarily for flood control in the basin. Farmers have constructed a few small levees, and minor walls and revetments protect railroad and highway fills. The principal existing floodcontrol work, constructed in 1927 by the city of Richmond at a cost of $3,150,000, protects the Shockoe Creek area on the left bank of James River to a stage of 23 feet above mean sea level. It consists of a levee across the creek mouth, a pressure conduit to carry the run-off from the upper creek under the levee into James River, and a pumping plant to handle storm water and sewage from the lower part of the protected area during floods. By emergency construction of a dike on top of the leyee and sandbag closure at highways and railways, protection has been afforded against subsequent floods, including that of 1936 which reached a stage of 28.8 feet above mean sea level. In 1943, the United States Navy at a cost of $115,000 constructed a levee on the right bank at Richmond adjacent to and east of the Seaboard Railway track to protect the naval-training school to the 1936 flood stage. In the upper part of Richmond, the city waterworks has been threatened by recent floods. The district engineer believes that it merits consideration for protection by the city which would cost about $60,000. The principal flood-damage area on the left bank at Richmond commences at the city lock and extends upstream about a mile, consisting largely of the Shockoe Creek area. It includes 140 acres developed by commercial and industrial establishments, railroad yards, city streets, and the canal section known as the city dock. The principal right bank damage area includes 100 acres east of the Seaboard Railway tracks, mainly comprising the naval-training school, and 250 acres extending upstream from these tracks to Ninth Street just above the entrance to Manchester Canal, containing industries, commercial establishments, railroad yards, and residences. Taking into account the effects of the navigation project on flood stages and of the flood-protection works now available and assuming repetition of the cycle of past flood discharges over a period of 75 years and that within a 50-year period one flood with discharge of 280,000 cubic feet per second and stage 7.5 feet higher than that of the 1936 flood occurs, the district engineer estimates the average annual direct and indirect flood damages for these two major damage areas at $107,000.
7. Local interests desire further properly coordinated improvements to prevent flood damage throughout the basin to the extent practicable and justified. Their suggestions for this purpose include farm measures to retard run-off, local protection by levees, flood walls, and channel improvements, flood-control reservoirs, and multiple-purpose reservoirs to store floodwaters, improve stream flow for pollution abatement and industrial and municipal water supply, develop hydroelectric power, and provide recreation, fish, and wildlife benefits. By resolution the city of Richmond has pledged its cooperation in the construction of local flood-control works within the city and such financial contribution and assistance as it may be able to render.
8. Studies of the district engineer show that construction of reservoirs in the basin for flood control alone would not be economically justified at this time. He presents a comprehensive reservoir plan to serve multiple purposes which includes developments at 14 sites. However, economic justification for these improvements depends upon the sale of power and it is not anticipated that the market for power will increase sufficiently to justify many of the improvements in the near future. The district engineer finds that of the 14 improvements only the Gathright Reservoir and Falling Spring reregulating dam on Jackson River at miles 43.4 and 35.1, respectively, warrant early construction. His plan for the Gathright Reservoir provides for a rock-fill dam 248 feet high to form a reservoir with 417,000 acre-feet of storage of which 110,000 acre-feet would be reserved for flood control and 264,000 acre-feet would be usable power storage, and a hydroelectric power plant with installed capacity of 34,000 kilowatts served by a tunnel and having an average net operating head of 215 feet. The dependable peaking capacity is computed at 20,600 kilowatts at 25 percent load factor and the average annual output of the plant at 45,000,000 kilowatt-hours of primary and 6,000,000 kilowatt-hours of secondary power. It is estimated that the