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without cost to the United States all necessary lands, easements, and rights-ofway including all rights-of-way required for alteration of railroad facilities,
(2) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works, and (3) maintain and operate all works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War; and provided also that prior to the expenditure of Federal funds for any of the improvements referred to above, the State in which the improvement would be located shall have enacted legislation, which, in the judgment of the Secretary of War, is suitable to provide (1) authority to designate and establish portions of the flood plain of Wabash River and tributaries as floodways or flood channels in reaches where encroachment or undesirable restrictions may adversely affect the efficiency of, or interfere with, existing, authorized, or recommended flood-protection works on which Federal funds have been or are to be spent, and (2) for acquisition of an estate or easements, or for the exercise of police power, which will effectually prevent any future construction or other improvements in the said floodways, except those which, in the opinion of the Secretary of War, would not cause any restriction of their capacity as floodways.
(b) That the United States bear the cost of alteration and reconstruction of railroad facilities at presently authorized projects as set forth in table 47 of the district engineer's report and as required by initiation of the construction of the affected local protection improvements, at an estimated total cost to the United States of $1,422,000, provided local interests furnish all necessary rights-of-way. Under existing authority, the bridge and utility changes required for the channel improvement portion of the Indianapolis project to provide increased waterway is a Federal cost.
(c) That the comprehensive plan for flood control and other purposes in the Ohio River Basin approved by the Flood Control Act of June 28, 1938, be modified by deleting therefrom Wolf Creek Reservoir, Ill., and the Spencer and Shoals Reservoirs, Ind.
R. A. WHEELER, Lieutenant General, Chict of Engineers.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR,
Springfield, April 5, 1946. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
United States Army, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The survey report for flood control, Wabash River and tributaries, forwarded to this office by the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, January 14, 1946, has been reviewed by the division of waterways, department of public works and buildings of this State.
The conclusions and recommendations of the division of waterways relative to the subject report have been approved by the State water resources and flood control board.
After consideration of the report as submitted and reviews of the same as prepared by the afore-mentioned State agencies, the State of Illinois concurs with the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, in that the plan is generally satisfactory to the State, subject to a reservation by the State of its right to protect the interests of its citizens in the flood plain of the Wabash River and its tributaries, and the reservation that any necessary changes in the project be accomplished through conferences prior to the completion of the definite project plan; and further that the State shall not be required to assume any contingent liability consequent to default by any political subdivision thereof. Very truly yours,
DWIGHT H. GREEN, Governor.
STATE OF INDIANA,
Indianapolis 4, March 9, 1946. Lt. Gen. R. A. WHEELER,
Chief of Engineers, Washington, D. C. DEAR GENERAL WHEELER: The people of Indiana and I appreciate your courtesy in sending your proposed report on the Wabash River and tributaries for flood control to us for consideration. We appreciate the consideration shown by Colonel Hall in his public hearing at Terre Haute Norember 21, 1944, and the
public hearing held by General Kingman in Vincennes on June 26, 1945, which I had the pleasure of attending. We wish to thank you, too, for your cooperation and courtesy extended us by Mr. Sam Bailey, chief of engineering division of the Louisville office, and Mr. Robert Walker, resident engineer of the Indianapolis suboffice. Both of these gentlemen have attended numerous meetings held throughout the State by the Indiana Flood Control Commission, and they have supplied us with information which has been extremely helpful in our work.
As you undoubtedly know, the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, at its last session, passed a flood control act, establishing a flood control commission, one of the purposes of which, as set forth in section 15 of the act, is as follows:
"The commission shall procure and obtain flood control works from and through, or by cooperation with the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army.”
The Indiana Flood Control Commission has studied the Army engineers' report on the Wabash River, and in general agree with its findings. However, there are three (3) items we desire especially to call your attention to, which we believe should be modified.
1. The act passed by the Indiana General Assembly contained provisions, at the request of Colonel Hall, for the establishment of waterways as outlined in sections 17 and 18, as follows:
"SEC. 17. It shall be unlawful to erect, use, or maintain any structure in or on any floodway as a permanent abode or place of residence, or to erect, make, use or maintain any structure, obstruction, deposit or excavation in or on any foodway, or to suffer or permit any structure, obstruction, deposit or excavation to be erected, made, used or maintained in or on any floodway, which will adversely affect the efficiency of or unduly restrict the capacity of the floodway, and the same are declared to be and to constitute public nuisances.
"The commission shall have the power to commence, maintain, and prosecute any appropriate action to enjoin or abate a nuisance, including any of the foregoing nuisances and any other nuisance which adversely affects flood control.
"In the event any person, or the petitioners of any proceedings pending in court, desire to erect, make, use or maintain, or to suffer or permit a structure, obstruction, deposit, or excavation to be erected, made, used, or maintained in or on any floodway, and it is uncertain as to whether it will adversely affect the efficiency of or unduly restrict the capacity of the floodway, such person may file a verified written application with the commission, setting forth the material facts, and the conimission on hearing shall enter an order, determining the fact and permitting or prohibiting the same.
"The commission shall have the power to remove or eliminate any structure, obstruction, deposit, or excavation in any floodway which adversely affects the efficiency of or unduly restricts the capacity of the floodway, by an action in condemnation, and in assessing the damages in such proceeding, the appraisers and the court shall take into consideration whether the structure, obstruction, deposit, or excavation is lawfully in or on the floodway.
"SEC. 18. The commission may by order establish a floodway as a commission floodway and alter, change, or revoke and terminate the same. In the order establishing the commission floodway, the commission shall fix the length thereof at any practical distance, and fix the width of the landside limits thereof, so as to include portions of the flood plains adjoining the channel, which with the channel, are reasonably required to efficiently carry and discharge the floodwaters or flood flow of such river or stream. An order establishing a commission floodway shall not be in force until due notice thereof has been given. All of the area within a commission floodway shall be the floodway for all purposes of this act."
It is noted on your proposed report to the Secretary of War that you state: “And provided also that prior to the expenditure of Federal funds for any of the improvements referred to above, the State in which improvements would be located and, for improvements along that portion of Wabash River which is the interstate frontier, both the States of Indian and Illinois, shall have enacted legislation which, in the judgment of the Secretary of War, is suitable to provide (1) authority to designate and establish portions of the flood plain of Wabash River and tributaries as floodways or flood channels in reaches where encroachment or undesirable restrictions may adversely affect the efficiency of, or interfere with existing, authorized, or recommended flood protection works on which Federal funds have been or are to be spent, and (2) acquisition of an estate or easements, or for the exercise of police power, which will effectually prevent any future construction or other improvements in the said floodways except those which, in the opinion of the Secretary of War, would not cause any restriction of their capacity as floodways."
As pointed out above, the State of Indiana at its last session of the General Assembly, passed such an act. However, we have no assurance that our sister State of Illinois will likewise pass such legislation. It appears from the wording of your proposed report that if Illinois should not pass such legislation, Indiana projects would be penalized, especially the city of Vincennes and the Niblack levee across the river from the Russell and Allison levee in the State of Illinois. As you know, the city of Vincennes, with a population of 18,000, was seriously threatened by the flood in the spring of 1943. It was only by the assistance of soldiers furnished through Colonel Hall that the city was saved from inundation, for the lives of men, women, and children would have been seriously threatened, as well as a very great property loss. We respectfully request that the Vincennes project and the Niblack levee project to the north, and any other proposed levee projects that may be effected, not be held up awaiting legislation by the State of Illinois.
Item 2. Indianapolis projects : The district engineer recommended that the Federal Government pay one-half the cost of alterations of highway bridges across the west fork of White River at Indianapolis. This project was originally set up by the city of Indianapolis and Marion County, shortly after the disastrous 1913 flood. After extensive studies, local interests determined that the best means for the control of floods in that area was by means of channel improvement and channel enlargement. Considerable moneys were expended by local people and at a later date they received Federal assistance through the Works Progress Administration, prior to the time this project was taken over by the War Department.
We submit that this project is a channel improvement project and of necessity such project calls for enlarging of White River sufficiently to carry major floods, which of necessity requires that the channel be deepened, widened, and any obstruction, either in the bed of the river, on its banks, or across and over the channel, shall be removed or altered. It is noted that the Federal Government proposes to pay for all necessary alterations on railroad bridges, but that the alteration of highway bridges is left to be assumed by local interests. It is assumed that the Federal Government will alter railroad bridges because they are common carriers and do not of necessity serve alone local area, but serve the Nation as a whole. We believe, in this day and age that highway transportation approaches that of the railroad; that no local bridges serve only the immediate vicinity, but the automobile and trucking facilities used for the State as a whole and also by the Nation as a whole. These structures are quite expensive and the burden upon local interests for their improvement for flood control purposes is excessive. As far as transportation is concerned, at the present time, they are adequate for that need.
Item 3. Reservoirs : It is noted that your proposed report recommends deletion of the Shoals and Spencer Reservoirs in the State of Indiana. While it is true that certain citizens of our State have objected to these two reservoirs, the citizens of the State as a whole and our flood-control commission do not desire to convey the impression that they are opposed to reservoirs. However, we believe that it would be advisable to start the reservoir program within our State with reservoirs of smaller size. By that we mean smaller areas of inundation that would not remove from some of our county-tax duplicates the major portion of the properties subject to taxes to support our schools and county governments. It has been noted by the Indiana Flood Control Commission that one reservoir stands out above all the rest in its economic possibilities. This reservoir is known as the Cagles Mill Reservoir. Under plan I of the district engineer's report, this reservoir is shown as having a ratio of 1 to 1.83. The reservoir at the same location, of larger capacity, is shown in plan II. Our engineers have determined, from the information shown in table 42 of the district engineer's. report, that this reservoir has an economic ratio of 1 to 1.57 without inclusion of any benefits to the Ohio and lower Mississippi Rivers. Downstream from this proposed reservoir on the Eel River are two levee projects set forth in the dis-trict engineer's report, known as Eel River levee No. 1 and Eel River levee No. 2. It is our belief that if this reservoir were constructed, the two Eel River levee units would be modified, with a saving in cost both to the Federal Government and local interests. We understand this reservoir is one of those subject to selection by you for flood control for the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers but that it probably has a low priority because of its location and at the present time the amount of money authorized for Ohio River reservoirs has been allocated.
It is my request that you incorporate the Cagles Mill Reservoir in the proposed plan for Wabash River flood control because of its outstanding economic ratio:
for the Wabash River and tributaries. I am sure that this reservoir can be constructed without serious opposition from local interests. Because of its proximity to the city of Indianapolis, it will have a high recreational value-in fact, at the present time, the area in that vicinity has a small lake for boating and swimming purposes, and there are a great number of small cottages scattered along the shore line.
I am enclosing, as an appendix, the report of the Indiana Flood Control Commission. Very truly yours,
RALPH F. GATES,
Governor of Indiana. (Representative Charles W. Vursell of the Twenty-third District of Illinois submitted the following statement :)
STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN CHARLES W. VURSELL, REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE TWENTY-THIRD DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Mr. Chairman and members, Flood Control Committee, in your consideration of fiood-control projects for the Wabash River, some of which affect the counties of Wabash, Lawrence, and Crawford, Ill., in my congressional district, I first want to point out the danger of damages which may be done to property owners on the Illinois side of the river.
It is the policy of the Government engineers who have studied this project and who have recommended the building of levees generally along the Wabash and its tributaries, I realize, so far as they can, to recommend such projects as will properly channel the water in a manner that will be as fair as it is possible to the property owners on both side of the stream. This, however, cannot always be done.
I call the attention of the committee in particular to project No. 5, a levee recommended for construction on the south side of Patoka Creek, a tributary of the Wabash River. If and when project No. 5 is constructed this levee will narrow the passage of the water at this point from some 4 miles to possibly 1 mile, with a strong possibility of raising the river level at Mount Carmel, ill., from 26 to 33 feet.
I may be wrong in the approximate figures but at any rate the water level will be raised several feet. This will affect the property of the Mount Carmel Public Utility & Service Co. of Mount Carmel, Ill., which is the sole source of power, furnishing a city of some 10,000 people. It will inundate the foundation work and make it necessary for the power plant to be raised some 7 or 8 feet at a great expense to this particular company.
I want to enter my most emphatic objection to the construction of this levee on the Indiana side opposite Mount Carmel for the reason that it will not only affect the public-utility plant referred to but that the raising of the water level will overflow and damage much farm land north from this water bottleneck which will result from the building of the levee referred to.
It is my understanding that a levee district on the Indiana side, for instance, built in cooperation with the Federal Government or as a levee district private project, may wall in their lands by the use of a levee and cause great volumes of water to be diverted to the opposite side of the stream resulting in serious damages to property owners and that under the courts such property owners are practically without redress for damages.
The Army engineers also inform me that it is very doubtful if the Mount Carmel Public Utility & Service Co. could receive any governmental aid to reimburse them for the lifting or raising of their power plant by reason of the Federal Government and the levee district of Indiana constructing such works as would raise the water level to a point making it necessary for the power-plant building to be raised.
It is doubtful whether any financial relief could be secured through the Appropriations Committees of the Congress.
Taking these factors into account, I desire to call this to the attention of the committee in the hope that they may give further study before they approve project No. 5.
I want to call the particular attention of the committee to the Russell-Allison levee-district proposal opposite Vincennes and affecting a rather large area in Crawford County.
I am not fully conversant with the objections that have been offered to the building of this levee at a meeting held at Vincennes, Ind., in June 1945, at which time Illinois objectors were given an opportunity to state their views. I hope the committee will give most careful attention and study to this particular proposal.
From the engineers' report I also note that the Federal Government is helping to pay the cost to the railroads where changes are necessary by reason of the Wabash Valley project and it would seem to me that if Government money can be expended to help compensate the railroads that it could be expended to help compensate the public-utility power plant referred to at Mount Carmel, and for damages in other cases which may arise by virtue of the completion of such projects as recommended in the engineers' report and which are being considered before this committee.
By reason of levees on the Indiana side and by reason of the lack of levees having been built on the Illinois side of the Wabash touching on Wabash County floodwaters have already been turned from the Indiana side to the Illinois side in such volume as to do great damage to a number of farms. The only relief possible is for those damaged to file a bill before the Claims Committee of the Congress. My experience has been that really no relief can be gotten through such an effort when such claims are filed with the Congress. . For this reason, and for the protection of the property owners of Wabash, Lawrence, and Crawford Counties, I hope the committee, before giving its approval to the projects on either side of the river in this section, will give serious thought in its recommendations to the end that such levee districts on either side of the river which are approved will give the greatest possible balanced protection to the property owners on both sides of the river.
Again may I urge the committee to give particular attention and further study to project No. 5, hereinabove referred to, opposite the city of Mount Carmel.
The CHAIRMAN. You heard the statement previously made by the president of the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad that the rail-1 ways were required to make certain adjustments in the Vincennes area. What do you have to say with respect to that?
Colonel WEST. As I understand the report, the Federal Government will bear all the cost that will be incurred by the railroads if alteration of the railroads is necessary.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Stover, you say you are opposed to the Federal Government paying the cost?
Mr. STOVER. I would like for our chief engineer, Mr. McBride, to explain briefly the program outlined by the Army on the so-called gates at certain flood stage.
The CHAIRMAN. I understood you to say, and I want to get it straight for the record, when you made your initial statement, that you were opposed to the plan of the Chief of Engineers for those projects in the Vincennes area.
Mr. STOVER. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. By opposing the plan, do you oppose the plan for the Federal Government to bear the cost of the railroad relocation?
Mr. STOVER. No; they do not propose to relocate the railroad. They do propose to put floodgates across the main line of the railroad, which will shut off the transportation.
The CHAIRMAN. Let us get this straight about the railroad. I thought you told me a minute ago that the railroad changes were to be borne by the Federal Government.
Colonel WEST. Yes, sir; wherever any changes are necessary. In place of relocating them at considerable expense at a higher level, so they could operate during flood periods, we propose a gate similar to those used throughout the lower Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
The CHAIRMAN. There are levees along therr.
explain Szoyer. Ying the costo", you say