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The daily flow of Boise River for the 9-day period from 'April 13 to 21, 1943, when a temperature drop of 20° became effective, checking the rapid melting snow in the mountains and materially reducing the river flow, is shown by the table following:
During the flood period mentioned, more than 30,000 acres of riverbottom farm lands, or approximately 10 percent of the irrigated lands of Boise Valley were flooded and seriously damaged. In many places, the top soil was washed away and the fields so badly eroded that it was necessary to relevel them. Transportation was seriously disrupted. Flood water not only overflowed, but cut through county, market, and local roads and highways. All of the bridges across the Boise River for 50 miles with one exception were out of service. Disruption of highway traffic caused serious damage to the dairy industry where milk is transported daily by trucks from several thousand farms to large creameries for processing. Irrigation headgates were destroyed and canals filled with silt, resulting in suspension of irrigation on most of the 340,000 acres of land; and in some cases, it was several weeks before complete repairs to irrigation works were completed and irrigation service resumed. We have had eight floods of million-dollar proportions in the last 50 years.
Maximum floods occurred in Boise Valley, in 1896 and 1897, when the flow of the river reached 34,500 and 29,500 second-feet or 512 and 412 times the safe carrying capacity of the river channel. It is estimated that a future flood of size mentioned would damage not less than 50,000 acres of farm land, destroy many miles of irrigation canals, highways, and seriously damage residential and industrial properties. One flood of major proportions such as experienced in 1896 and 1897, would cause damages of approximately $10,000,000, or the full cost of providing permanent flood control protection. We have had two of these floods in the past 50 years. On basis of water records and existing control facilities, we may estimate total flood damages in Boise Valley for the next 50-year period in excess of $40,000,000.
Efforts to provide for control of floods: Basic control of floods was undertaken by the residents of Boise Valley through the construction of levees, and short period use of Arrowrock Reservoir, a reservoir constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation for irrigation purposes.
It is of course clear to you, Mr. Chairman, that the benefits from such control measures would be very limited except in years when the flow of the river only slightly exceeded its safe carrying capacity.
Additional measures that have been authorized to assist in controlling floods of Boise Valley, include American Reservoir on the south fork of the Boise River, and which is now under construction by the Bureau of Reclamation and changes of outlets at Arrowrock
Reservoir to increase discharge capacity thus permitting more rapid draw-down of storage in that reservoir after flood peaks.
Valuable assistance has already been given by this committee during the last 3 years in authorizing works of a semipermanent nature, such as repairs and reconstruction of levees and the allocation of funds to the Corps of Engineers for work mentioned in the total amount of $584,000.
May I at this time express the deep appreciation for the people of Boise Valley for the assistance you have given us and which has or will prevent several million damages that would otherwise be suffered before additional facilities can be authorized and constructed to permanently solve the flood control problems of Boise Valley.
Additional flood-control facilities necessary: Without flood-control facilities in addition to those existing, the total damages which may be expected in Boise Valley in the next 50-year period, based on present economic development and floods of size indicated by past records, are estimated to exceed $40,000,000, or an average of $800,000 annually. The average annual damage would be as follows: Agricultural land and crops.-
$380, 000 Urban, suburban, and industrial--
85, 000 Irrigation facilities -
55, 000 Preventable siltation -------
100, 000 Highways, railroads, and utilities -
90, 000 Damages to river channel, banks, etc--------------
----- 100,000 The bed of the Boise River is located on a river wash composed largely of sand and gravel for its entire course through the 340,000 acres of fine agricultural lands of the valley. The fall of the river is approximately 12 feet to the mile through the agricultural areas, which results in a very high velocity, especially when the flow greatly exceeds the safe-carrying capacity of the river. A system of levees, even if extended to cover the entire length of the river, would not be satisfactory and would be costly to maintain. In view of the fact that reservoirs which will provide 1,000,000 feet of storage have been constructed or authorized, the Corps of Engineers have found that the best method of providing necessary flood-control protection is the authorization and construction of one additional reservoir of 300,000 acre-feet capacity, primarily for flood-control purposes and to be located at Lucky Peak site, 9 miles upstream from Boise. This reservoir would also provide additional irrigation benefits and permit the generation of a substantial amount of hydroelectric power at Arrowrock Reservoir. Operation of Lucky Peak Reservoir in connection with use of existing reservoirs at Arrowrock and Anderson ranch would provide ideal flood-control protection for Boise Valley.
May I now submit the view of the people living in the area regarding need for immediate authorization of Lucky Peak Reservoir, in the form of resolutions adopted a few weeks ago by irrigation water users of water district 12-A, which includes all of the 340,000 acres of farm land in Boise Valley. [Reading:]
WATER DISTRICT 12-A-340,000 ACRES BOISE VALLEY LANDS
Whereas the water users of the Boise River Water Users, district 12-A, at their annual meetings, have for several years past adopted resolutions pointing out the urgent need for an additional flood-control program on the Boise River, including additional emergency work such as levee repairs, the restudy and surveys required for planning permanent flood-control protection, including additional reservoir storage capacity;
Whereas a great deal of progress has been made by the Army engineers through cooperation of the Flood Control Committee of the House of Representatives and the Commerce Committee of the Senate in providing needed levee protection: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the water users of water district 12-A, representing 340,000 acres of irrigated land in the Boise Valley, in their annual meeting assembled in Boise, Idaho, That we do hereby urge and request that each member of the Idaho congressional delegation shall continue with his splendid assistance and cooperation in order to expedite the progress of the Lucky Peak report, to the end that this project may be included in the omnibus flood-control bill during the present session of Congress; and be it further
Resolved, That we do express to the Corps of Army Engineers and its personnel our sincere appreciation for their efforts to solve the Boise River flood-control problems and urge that they continue in these efforts, in order that Lucky Peak project may be constructed at the earliest possible date; and he it further
Resolved, That we do hereby request immediate consideration and urge a favorable report by all other agencies of government, both Federal and State, to which the Lucky Peak report (Boise River flood control) may be referred for comment and action; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the Secretary of War, the Chief of Army Engineers, the Secretary of the Interior, the Commissioner of Reclamation, the regional director of the Bureau of Reclamation, the Chairman of the Federal Power Commission, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Governor of the State of Idaho.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, may I thank you for the time allotted for the presentation of this brief. May I also ask for your favorable consideration of the report of the Corps of Engineers with recommendation for authorization of the Lucky Peak project.
The CHAIRMAN. If the report is submitted to the Congress before this bill is finally passed by the other body, even though it is not submitted before the bill is reported by this committee, there will be opportunity for it to be included, and the hearings may be developed further when that report has been submitted.
We are glad to have had your statement.
STATEMENT OF HON. HENRY C. DWORSHAK, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF IDAHO Mr. DWORSHAK. It so happens that the Lucky Peak project is in the Second Congressional District. Therefore, I am vitally concerned about it.
I understand the Budget Bureau has not yet sent up any formal request because the report has not yet been acted upon.
The CHAIRMAN. The report has not yet been submitted to the Budget ?
Colonel HERB. That is right, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Where is the report? General CRAWFORD. That report is now before the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors.
Mr. DWORSHIAK. Do you think that later on you will have an opportunity to consider this project or will this be the only chance we will have?
The CHAIRMAN. I would say, generally, that unless this report is submitted to the Budget before we complete our hearings, as scheduled, which will be this week, that report would then be considered in
the Senate, in the event it is submitted later. There must be a deadline.
Mr. DWORSHAK. Can I file a brief report at this point in the hearings?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
I have just returned from Idaho. I personally inspected the area in the Boise Valley which would be affected by the construction of the Lucky Peak project.
We have had recurring floods for many spring seasons in the Boise Valley, and we have had damages amounting to as much as a million dollars in one spring.
The Army engineers have allotted during the past few months approximately $100,000 to do flood-control work in an effort to avoid the anticipated damages that will arise if there is a flash run-off this spring.
So I can point out at this time that it is vitally important that some project like the Lucky Peak Dam be planned so that it will not be necessary to spend thousands of dollars each year on temporaryflood structures. If we can get consideration of the Lucky Peak project, I am confident that it will be in the interest of economy, because it will not be necessary for the Army engineers to spend these thousands of dollars every year, and we will have an over-all floodcontrol program in the Boise Valley which should be in complete harmony with the plans and program outlined by the Army engineers.
The CHAIRMAN. If we get this report before the conclusion of the week I will ask the clerk to notify Mr. Dworshak and Mr. White, and we will give you an opportunity to be heard further. In the meantime, we are glad to have had your statement. You may submit a prepared statement.
Mr. DWORSHAK. I would rather wait until the report comes before the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. There has been put on the agenda for today the Mill Creek, Tex., project. As I understand it, that matter is still in . the field and has not been submitted to the Congress or the Budget? Colonel HERB. That is correct, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And that same situation applies to the Gila River at Tucson, Ariz.?
Colonel HERB. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And that same situation applies to the Skagway River and Harbor, Alaska ?
Colonel HERB. Yes, sir.
LEON RIVER, TEX. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Poage, who is interested in the Belton Reservoir and local protection for Eastland, Tex., is here. For the record, at this time, will you tell us generally the flood problem on the Leon River so that may precede the statement of Mr. Poage if he desires to make it.
Colonel HERB. Floods occur almost any time of the year on the Leon River as a result of storms from the Gulf of Mexico. Minor floods
occur about once every 2 years, and major floods about once every 5 years.
The maximum flood of record in the central and upper portions of the watershed occurred in May 1908. The maximum flood of record in the lower reaches occurred in December 1913. The major recent floods occurred in April 1942 and April 1945. Approximately 51,400 acres of cultivated and urban land are subject to overflow in this basin.
The annual flood damages are estimated at $480,890.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the general course of this Leon River and it flows into what?
STATEMENT OF COL. E. G. HERB, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CIVIL
WORKS DIVISION, OFFICE, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS Colonel HERB. The Leon River is formed by the junction of its north and south forks in Eastland County, Tex. It flows southeasterly 299 miles to its junction with Lampasas River, 6 miles southeast of Belton, in Bell County. The Lampasas River flows into the Brazos River, which, in turn, flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there under consideration a general report on the Brazos River, a general study?
Colonel HERB. Yes, sir; there is. The present report is an interim report covering the Leon River.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you describe generally the proposed solution of the problem along the Leon River I will ask you this general question: Have you gone far enough with the study of that problem to advise the committee whether or not, if this particular recommendation is submitted to the Budget and later transmitted to Congress, it would be integrated and coordinated into the general plan?
Colonel HERB. We feel that this project, no matter plans are developed, will fit into the comprehensive plan and it is now necessary for flood protection.
The CHAIRMAN. This project consists of what?
Colonel HERB. It consists of a reservoir which is known as the Belton Reservoir, and local protection works at Eastland, Tex. The Belton Reservoir as proposed by the district engineer has a storage capacity of about 722,000 acre-feet, of which 509,700 acre-feet are reserved for flood control. The Chief of Engineers in his recommendation provided for increasing the size of the dam and reservoir to the extent found economically justified at the time of construction and increased the estimated cost to $15,500,000 for the larger project.
The estimated cost of the project includes $15,500,000 for the reservoir and $82,800 for the local protection works at Eastland, Tex., making a total Federal cost of $15,582,800.
The CHAIRMAN. How much of that is self-liquidating? Is there any power there?
Colonel HERB. No, sir. There is no power.
Colonel HERB. 126,400 acre-feet is for conservation, and 85,900 acrefeet is reserved for sedimentation, and the remaining 509,700 acrefeet will be available at all times for the storage of flood waters.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you an unusual sedimentation problem there?
Colonel HERB. No, sir; it is not unusual for that section of the country. Silt records covering the period 1924 through 1929 for the