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The CHAIRMAN. And the railroad crosses the river ?
Colonel WEST. No, sir; it does not cross the river. It runs parallel to the river.
The CHAIRMAN. Does it run between the levee and the river? Colonel WEST. There is a proposed back levee where there is a creek that comes in just above Vincennes, and there is another proposed back levee below.
The CHAIRMAN. Anyway, is the railroad between the levee and the river?
Colonel WEST. The railroad crosses the proposed back levees, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And where it crosses the back levee, the levee is cut and at high flood you propose to put a gate there?
Colonel WEST. Yes, sir.
As I understand it, there are other portions of the track flooded, anyway, and the trains could not operate.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you say, Mr. Stover, about that ? Mr. STOVER. The Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad has never been completely shut out. It is the main artery from Chicago all through that area to the South. We feel that it is unnecessary to shut off transportation at any time during any flood season that they have down there.
We have been working on this for some time. The only thing we are opposed to is this floodgate they propose to put across the main line of transportation.
The CHAIRMAN. I can understand how you feel, and generally we want to encourage transportation, but I repeat the question. The engineer states, as you have just heard, that if a gate is constructed across this road, that it would not impede transportation more than would otherwise be impeded, because other parts of your road are not protected.
Now, is that statement true or not? Mr. STOVER. I will let our chief engineer answer that. His name is J. S. McBride.
STATEMENT OF J. S. MCBRIDE, CHIEF ENGINEER, CHICAGO AND
EASTERN ILLINOIS RAILROAD Mr. McBRIDE. That is true to this extent, Mr. Chairman. We are gradually raising our railroad above the flood stage. As an example of that, in the 1930 flood we had 3 feet of water over our tracks, and our track has been raised above the 1930 flood. The 1943 flood exceeded the 1930 flood and we did have water over our track then. But we are continuing to raise that track and going above the 1943 flood. If we are shut off with these gates, then, what we are doing north of Vincennes will be lost. · The CHAIRMAN. Is that backwater levee intended to provide against a 1943 flood ? Mr. McBRIDE. As I understand it, it is to provide against any flood.
Colonel WEST. That is correct. The protective work will provide protection against floods with an average frequency of once in each 100-year period.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, if you have raised your railroad at that point, there will not be any occasion for any gates? Mr. McBRIDE. We have not raised any tracks there. The CHAIRMAN. You say you are in the process of raising them? Mr. McBRIDE. North of Vincennes.
The CHAIRMAN. You admit the statement that he has made, that if this gate is operated at present, and until you finish your process of raising, there would be flooding north of Vincennes ? Mr. McBRIDE. Yes, sir. We are engaged in that right now.
The CHAIRMAN. If you supplement what you have done, there would be no occasion for gates?
Mr. McBRIDE. That is what we want the Government to do inside the levee.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean raise the railroad?
Mr. STOVER. If it is agreeable with you, I would like to leave this brief statement.
The CHAIRMAN. As I understand you now, you feel that while you are raising your railroad at other points, the Government ought to raise the railroad where it crosses this back levee?
you are the railroaat is right. you distinguishy you shou You
The CHAIRMAN. How do you distinguish? I have high regard for your view, but I cannot figure out why you should raise your railroad at one point and not raise it at another. You may be able to clarify it.
Mr. STOVER. If you left it just as is, it will not interfere with our operations in Vincennes, because we have operated through Vincennes through all these flood periods. It is the other points north :of there where we have raised our track and protected ourselves from the floodwaters of the Wabash River.
The CHAIRMAN. If this railroad has never been covered, why do you want to put a gate there?
Colonel WEST. It is largely a matter of providing free board.
The CHAIRMAN. Does this proposed Vincennes levee protect his railroad?
Colonel WEST. Yes, sir; it does within the levee.
The CHAIRMAN. Without your protection would that railroad be
The CHAIRMAN. You mean 30 inches of water over your railroad in Vincennes ?
Mr. McBRIDE. In the city of Vincennes there has been no water over our tracks; that is, in the city limits.
The CHAIRMAN. Was any over the tracks at Vincennes ?
Colonel West. No, sir. There was some water over the track above and below Vincennes.
The CHAIRMAN. Does this levee give them any protection? Colonel WEST. It protects their yards and their tracks within the leveed area.
The CHAIRMAN. Have those yards been flooded ?
Colonel WEST. No, sir; I do not believe they have, but they would be flooded with the present situation in regard to levees. The 1943 flood was much smaller than the 1913 flood.
The CHAIRMAN. Was that area where the yards are flooded in 1913 ? Colonel WEST. No, sir; but it would be with a recurrence of the flood.
The CHAIRMAN. The flood level has been raised as you have raised the levees? Colonel West. That is right, sir. The CHAIRMAN. That is an engineering question. Mr. STOVER. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to have your engineer when we reach you. When you come back, Mr. McBride, you bring the maps to show us generally your location.
The CHAIRMAN. We will return for the moment, Colonel West, to the projects along the Wabash, and the objections made by the president of Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad and the chief engineer, Mr. McBride.
Mr. McBride, if you will come to the table, please. Do you have a map that you want to show us?
Mr. McBRIDE. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. I would like to file this map supplementing Mr. Stover's statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean that you would like to file that map in conjunction with the statement of Mr. Stover? If you do, I do not believe it can be printed, but it will be used by the committee.
While you have that map before you there, does that map embrace the Vincennes area?
Mr. McBRIDE. Yes, sir; this map shows in yellow, the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, and in red, the Vincennes protection.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like for Mr. McBride and Mr. Adams to come up there and look at that map. I would like for you to point out for them and tell Mr. Allen and myself, the location of your railroad and your yards in Vincennes. Where is the location of the proposed back levee?
Mr. McBRIDE [indicating). It comes here, and crosses just north of town, and a 5-foot floodgate is proposed. Again south of town, with a 6-foot floodgate.
The CHAIRMAN. This town, the city of Vincennes, you have calculated and indicated that. Where is the proposed levee; that is in red? Mr. McBRIDE. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. What protects your railroad north of Vincennes ? What protects your railroad from overflows? Mr. MCBRIDE. Nothing.
The CHAIRMAN. There are no levees along the Wabash?
The CHAIRMAN. Is your road north of Vincennes anywhere protected by levees along the Wabash?
Mr. McBRIDE. I would say "No." There is a levee to the north, but we feel it is more harm than protection to us.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, none of your railroads north of Vincennes are protected by levees? Mr. McBRIDE. That is right. The CHAIRMAN. Where are your yards here? Mr. McBRIDE. Our yards are down in here. The CHAIRMAN. What is this here? Mr. McBRIDE. That is an industrial spur.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there not a levee along the Wabash that protects the city of Vincennes ? Mr. McBRIDE. There is a seawall along the river. The CHAIRMAN. It does protect the city of Vincennes ? Mr. McBRIDE. It affords it some protection; yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. About how long has it been there, Mr. McBride? Mr. McBRIDE. It was built some time after the flood of 1913.
The CHAIRMAN. About how high would you say it is above the level of the ground, in back of it, on the land side ?
Mr. McBRIDE. About 4 or 5 feet, I would judge. It is not over that, I do not believe.
The CHAIRMAN. In protecting the city of Vincennes, does it protect the road there? Mr. McBRIDE. It does not.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, your industrial spur is not protected by that levee? Mr. McBRIDE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean the existing levee that protects the city ?
Mr. McBRIDE. I do not believe it comes down that far, Mr. Chairman.
Colonel WEST. If I may speak, sir, I believe I can clear up this question.
The CHAIRMAN. You may speak, Colonel, and answer that. Tell me whether or not the existing track there is protected by the municipal flood wall.
Colonel West. It was protected in 1943.
Colonel West. Yes, sir; it has. The flood wall has never been overtopped.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any difference in the protection accorded to that?
Mr. McBRIDE. It would have been overtopped in 1943 if it had not been for the Army.
Colonel WEST. We kept it from being overtopped.
The CHAIRMAN. My point is, and I am just asking you, if this flood wall does not protect the city and at the same time protect this spur track.
Mr. McBRIDE. Well, it perhaps does. There are only one or two industries on that track, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I did not ask you about that; I just asked you if the track was protected because it was inconceivable to me that it would protect the city and not the track. Is that right?
theuld protect the That is righde, I do not wad wall prote
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McBride, I do not want to hurry you, but this road goes through Vincennes. Does this flood wall protect your main road that goes through the city here to the same degree that it does that part of the city through which your road runs?
Mr. McBRIDE. In a general way, yes. However, the water could come around behind this wall. That is where it was coming in 1943.
The CHAIRMAN. Would it give you the same degree of protection that it does the municipality? Mr. McBRIDE. I would say so, yes. I would say that is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel, what are you doing with respect to the existing wall of Vincennes ? Colonel WEST. The present wall is too low.
The CHAIRMAN. What are you doing, are you making a flood wall? You are making it as indicated in red here? Colonel WEST. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. About how much are you raising it? Colonel WEST. As I recall, it is about 6 feet, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. When you say a back levee, what do you propose to do?
Colonel WEST. The present levee will be reconstructed completely. The CHAIRMAN. Indicate it from start to finish.
Colonel West. From the end of the wall (indicating on the map], which is about here, all the way around to high ground here.
The CHAIRMAN. That is your back levee?
Colonel WEST. There is a road embankment that acts as a levee, but it is inadequate in height and we had to sandbag it in 1943.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you sandbag the railroad?
The CHAIRMAN. Did it get over the railroad where you are putting this gate?
Colonel West. It did not get that high, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is this down around here in red. Is that a continuation of your back levee?
Mr. McBRIDE. Yes, sir.
Colonel WEST. There is a wall that ties into the Brevoort levee and we have another spur levee that comes around the back side of town in case this levee were to fail.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McBride, your objection is to leaving this gate here and closing in in flood time? Mr. McBride. That is right, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What damage will that do to you that you do not now have? Please watch my question. What additional hazard will you be subjected to that you are not now subjected to, even if the recommendation of the engineers is accepted ? Mr. McBRIDE. Well, we have never had water on our track. The CHAIRMAN. Unless the rains get up there you never will have it. Mr. McBride. That is right.