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FLOOD CONTROL BILL OF 1946
THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 1946
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
The committee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. Will M. Whittington (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order.
The committee has under consideration, under the schedule announced for today, the Missouri River Basin, including additional authorizations for the Corps of Engineers, and any recommendations for additional authorizations or any other recommendations that the Bureau of Reclamation cares to present to this committee, and we have before us a report published as House Document No. 294, Seventyninth Congress, covering a local protection project in the vicinity of Mandan, N. Dak. We will revert to that again in a few minutes.
This committee only considers reports that have been submitted to the Congress or to this committee or to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget by the Chief of Engineers.
We have with us this morning, among others, Representative Carlson, former member of this committee, from Kansas; Representative Bennett, of Missouri; and Representative Case, of South Dakota. Are there any other Representatives present here this morning ?
For your information, the matters under consideration are the local protective work in North Dakota and increased authorizations for the approved work in the Missouri River Basin. The record in that matter up to date, so far as previous authorizations are concerned, is that the estimated cost of the approved works under the Corps of Engineers is $785,088,000. Thus far there have been authorized $216,000,000, $200,000,000 having been authorized for the works under the so-called Pick plan in the act of December 22, 1944, and $16,000,000 for other projects in the basin which were authorized in the plan approved in the act of June 28, 1938. It is estimated that it will require a total of $303,000,000 to complete the works that are under way:
So the matter of prime importance, so far as the Missouri Basin is concerned, is increased authorization for the completion of projects adopted including those now under way.
Mr. Carlson, is there any matter you want to develop or bring to our attention before we begin with General Pick?
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STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK CARLSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF KANSAS
Mr. CARLSON. I do not care to discuss the particular projects before your committee, but I would like to make a short statement. .
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to have you do so. Mr. CARLSON. I would like to say this. I have fond recollections from my service on this committee of the splendid work done by its chairman, Mr. Whittington, and I have been particularly interested in the developments of a basin control on the Missouri River.
I was pleased to work with General Pick when he was there some years ago, and then later I was pleased to work with General Crawford. We are happy General Pick is back and we hope he will carry into completion some of the projects that have been authorized by Congress, and, of course, previously by this Committee.
There are projects under way out in that section. Mr. Chairman, the contract for the completion of the Kanopolis Reservoir was recently let and the work begins next Monday. It is one of my, pet projects, and the chairman was very helpful in getting it approved and getting it through Congress, and I am looking forward to its completion.
I am especially interested in Harlan Reservoir, for which funds are being made available in this Congress.
I am interested in all of the projects.
I am not a candidate for reelection to Congress. I want to state that it was a privilege to serve with you, Mr. Chairman, and this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
We are glad to have Mr. Case of South Dakota, who is on the Committee on Appropriations that handles flood-control appropriations, and who has been most helpful.
Mr. Case, do you have a general statement you desire to make?
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANCIS CASE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA
Mr. CASE. I did not come over here with the idea of making a statement, but I would like to say a few words.
The work of this committee, as you know, is one which I hold in high regard. Dealing with the appropriations for flood-control authorizations which this committee makes, I have been repeatedly impressed by the thoroughness in which you go into these matters in this committee. I may say that it is because of the confidence that the subcommittee has for the work of this committee we are favorably disposed to making appropriations for carrying out the authorizations which this committee has approved.
You have made reference to the Missouri River Basin program. In the civil functions bill, which has passed both the House and the Senate for the fiscal year 1947, and on which we will have our conferences this week, appropriations are carried for the Harlan County Reservoir, to which Mr. Carlson has already referred. That is for the initiation of new work on the Garrison Reservoir and for initiation of construction on the Fort Randall Reservoir in South Dakota,
It has been my hope that when you expand your authorizations that consideration be given to two of the units in the authorized programs which were not mentioned in the initial phases for projects in South Dakota. Those two projects are the Moreau River project in South Dakota and the Keyhole.
On the Belle Fourche River in South Dakota there is at the present time an irrigation project known as the Belle Fourche project. It is served by an off-stream reservoir known as the Corman Dam which has a capacity of a couple of hundred thousand acre-feet of water. The water is fed to that reservoir by an inlet canal which takes off below the city of Belle Fourche. That canal is not large enough to carry all the flood water in peak floods. Consequently, a great deal of the flood water goes down here [indicating] and down in Missouri.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that project embraced in the comprehensive Missouri River Basin or Pick plan?
Mr. CASE. The proposed Keyhole Reservoir gets its name from the fact that it is a unique reservoir site. It is estimated $750,000 will create a reservoir of over 200,000 acre-feet capacity. It is a very unique reservoir site, but the construction of that will afford floodcontrol protection for the city of Belle Fourche.
I hope if you expand the authorization that you include at least $750,000 for the Keyhole Reservoir as a part of the over-all plan.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, the other item. Mr. CASE. These [indicating] tributaries are not shown in here. The principal tributaries of the Missouri in western South Dakota are the White River, the Cheyenne River, the Moreau River, and the Grand River.
There is in the presently authorized initial phase for prosecution by the Bureau of Reclamation an authorization for reservoirs on the Grand River, and also one on the Cheyenne River. Although the Moreau River projects are included in the over-all basin program, there is no specific authorization in the initial construction phase for anything on the Moreau River.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the second matter? Mr. CASE. It is the Moreau River which we feel should also be included. The Moreau River flows clear across this sindicating] half of the State. Floods have destroyed highway bridges and property of the United States Government. It was the subject of a ffood-control study recently made by the Army engineers under authorization of a resolution by this committee a few years ago, but the tentative report, as I understand it, points out that it is in the over-all basin program. But until it is included in an authorization for construction, and you expand your authorization, no funds will be available for construction there.
The United States Government is paying dearly in the loss of Indian lands and the loss of highway bridges, and in the loss of bottom lands by the floods which occur frequently on the Moreau River.
It has been estimated that the complete stoppage of floods on the Moreau River and the stoppage of the silt which it carries down in the main Missouri River could be accomplished for approximately 412 million dollars. That would include the construction of two reservoirs, one at Bixbee and one at Green Grass.
I hope in the consideration of your expanded authorizations you will include approximately a total of $5,000,000, which would include the
Keyhole Reservoir on the Belle Fourche River and the two reservoirs and appurtenant works on the Moreau River.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very glad to have had your statements, Mr. Case and Mr. Carlson. You understand, of course, that if you desire to make further statements we have set aside Good Friday, April 19, for that purpose.
Mr. Bennett, there is nothing that I know of to be proposed with respect to Osceola Reservoir. Was there any matter other than that you had in mind ?
STATEMENT OF HON. MARION T. BENNETT, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI Mr. BENNETT. That is all that I was interested in. I would like to reserve the right to make a further statement.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Is there any other Member of Congress who would like to enter his appearance and develop any matter?
We have with us this morning Gen. Lewis A. Pick, division engineer of the Missouri River division, for a return engagement. The committee will recall that General Pick is one of the authors of the comprehensive Missouri plan and he has appeared previously before the committee at length and gave us an account of the Missouri River flood of 1943.
For the record, General, we are glad to have you here this morning. Tell us, generally, your services since you appeared before the committee previously when you were division engineer of the Missouri River division.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. LEWIS A. PICK, DIVISION ENGINEER OF
THE MISSOURI RIVER DIVISION, CORPS OF ARMY ENGINEERS General Pick. It is indeed a pleasure for me to again appear before the Flood Control Committee of the House of Representatives. I recall it was in the spring of 1943 that I was privileged to appear before your committee. I believe that the official action of the Flood Control Committee that day had a more far-reaching effect in floodcontrol matters in the United States than probably any other single action that has ever been taken by this committee, because it was at that session that your committee authorized the Corps of Engineers to restudy the Missouri River for flood control from Sioux City to Kansas City.
Out of that resolution came our report on the Missouri River, the comprehensive report for the development of the Missouri River. That was followed by the report by the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Congress saw fit to combine those two reports to include the entire development of the Missouri Valley.
The CHAIRMAN. After that what service did you have with the Government ?
General Pick. When I finished that report I was ordered to the India-China-Burma theater. I was sent to India and was assigned as base commander of the advance section in the India-Burma theater under Gen. Joseph Stilwell, and was charged, among other things, with the construction and operation of the Ledo Road. That road had
der of the andra nI was sent to point I was order
not been built. To build it meant the cutting across of a mountain area in eastern India and across north Burma, all the way to the western boundary of China. This is a virgin territory—à virgin jungle. We actually built the road, 483 miles long, and connected up with the old Burma Road. I carried out my mission of operating that road well before the war was over with Japan. It was finished in 15 months. It was opened on the 4th of February 1945, and by July 1, 1945, we had delivered from India to China 28,000 vehicles to be used by the Chinese Army. We had reestablished land communications between China and our allies, and this road was a tremendous factor in the Chinese Army moving south and east prior to the cessation of hostilities with Japan.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you were reassigned as division engineer? General Pick. Yes, sir. I returned to the United States and was reassigned to the Missouri River Basin as division engineer with headquarters at Omaha in December 1945.
the Mis sirmou were
HEART RIVER, N. DAK.
The CHAIRMAN. Before we have your general statement covering the Missouri River Basin we have one individual project for consideration today. It is the Heart River project for flood control at Mandan, N. Dak. I will ask you to give us a general description of the project with the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers.
As I recall it, this project was authorized by Senate Commerce Committee resolution adopted June 22, 1937, requesting a review of House Document No. 238, Seventy-third Congress, second session, with a view to modifying recommendations for the Heart River, Bowman, and the Missouri River diversion projects, and by a Flood Control Committee resolution adopted on May 2, 1939, requesting a review of the same report with a view to determining whether flood control at Bismarck and Mandan, N. Dak. is advisable at this time.
You may proceed and tell us generally what the problem is, and the estimated cost, and whether or not it is economically justified.
General Pick. The Departments report on Heart River, N. Dak. is published as House Document No. 294, Seventy-ninth Congress, first session. Heart River is formed near Gladstone in southwest North Dakota by the junction of Green River with a fork of the main stream. It flows in a general easterly direction for approximately 180 miles and enters the Missouri River about 5 miles below Bismarck, N. Dak. Mandan is located on the north bank of Heart River 5 miles above its mouth. Heart River drains 3,362 square miles above Mandan consisting principally of semiarid upland plains. The vallew of the river has an average width of about one-half miles with the bottom lands separated into units of only a few hundred acres each, except for considerably larger areas in the Big Bend district about 60 miles above the stream mouth, and also along the river below Mandan.
The basin is approximately 120 miles long and its greatest width is about 45 miles.
The total population of that valley is 33,560, which includes 6,685 for Mandan and 5,840 for Dickinson. Those are the two principal cities in the basin. The principal industry there is agriculture and livestock raising. Mandan is subject to flooding from both the Heart and the Missouri Rivers.