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County, and the people in our county feel very grateful to the Corps of Engineers for all they have done for us.
Mr. ALLEN. General Crawford, do you wish to say anything about this?
General CRAWFORD. We have made many studies of the problem as controlling the San Gabriel River and they all show that the Whittier Narrows project is essential. I would like to insert a statement on these studies if I may. However, if the committee desires, I can see no objection to restudying the problem and trying again to find some other solution. Apparently, it is not to receive appropriations in the near future. There will be no time lost in making that study. At the conclusion of that, if the study is authorized by this committee. the Governor of California could express the views of the State as a whole.
(The statement referred to is as follows:)
WHITTIER NARROWS DAM The Whittier Narrows Dam and Reservoir project is an important unit in the plan for flood control in Los Angeles County drainage area. As early as 1932, the Los Angeles County flood-control district proposed as a part of its plan for flood control in that county a dam on the San Gabriel River at the Whittier Narrow's site. The Flood Control Acts of June 22, 1936, and May 15, 1937, authorized the construction of reservoirs and principal flood channels in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and their tributaries, and Ballona Creek, for flood control in Los Angeles County drainage area, California, at an estimated construction cost not to exceed $70,000,000. It was understood at that time that the work authorized by the 1936 and 1937 acts formed only a part of a plan for complete flood protection in Los Angeles County and that further detailed studies would be necessary to fully develop a comprehensive plan for complete protection. The 1936 act, therefore, authorized the Department to make a preliminary examination and survey of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and their tributaries, and Ballona Creek, Calif., for the purpose of developing a comprehensive plan for flood control and other purposes in the Los Angeles County drainage area. Careful studies made by the district engineer at Los Angeles in connection with this authorized investigation and in cooperation with local county officials indicated that the most economically feasible plan for the comprehensive improvement of the San Gabriel River for flood control should include construction of a flood-control dam at Whittier Narrows. A comprehensive flood-control plan formulated by the district engineer, including the Whittier Narrows project was prepared with the full knowledge of the Los Angeles County authorities and they have indicated by resolution their approval and willingness to cooperate in that plan. Local interests residing downstream from the Whittier Narrows Dam, including officials of the city of Long Beach and other localities in that area, have consistently expressed their desire for the construction of the proposed dam and their preference for that structure rather than any other type of improvement for flood control.
The Department's report on the authorized investigation with its recommendations regarding the general comprehensive plan for flood control and other purposes in the basin of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and Ballona Creek, was transmitted to Congress by the Secretary of War under date of June 11, 1940, and printed as House Document No. 838, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session. The Flood Control Act of August 18, 1941, approved the general comprehensive plan as set forth in that document.
It has been suggested by certain local interests that the Santa Fe Dam be remodeled to provide additional storage facilities. It should be noted, however, that the Santa Fe Dam intercepted the run-off from a drainage area of 236 square miles and is designed to control a flood having a peak discharge of 98,000 cubic feet per second. The Whittier Narrows Dam would intercept a run-off from a drainage area below the Santa Fe Dam of 316 square miles and would also control releases from the Santa Fe Dam. The total drainage area, therefore, above the Whittier Narrows Dam is 552 square miles. The peak
discharge that may originate in the drainage area between the Santa Fe Dam and the Whittier Narrows Dam from a cloudburst-type storm storm based on one which occurred in this area in October 1941 is estimated at 150,000 cubic feet per second. The remodeling of the Santa Fe Dam, of course, would not affect the floods which originate below that structure.
Another alternate proposal was that the river channel be improved in lieu of constructing the Whittier Narrows Dam. This might be physically possible, but since the capacity of the channel improvement for flood control must be that of the designed flood, it has been found, after extensive studies, that the cost of channel improvement alone would be more than $10,000,000 greater than the cost of controlling floods by means of the construction of the Whittier Narrows Dam and supplementary channel improvement below that dam. The channel improvement alone would require floodways or very high levees, neither of which is practicable. Further studies by the Department indicate that the amount of land needed for an adequate system of improved channels would considerably exceed that required for the flood-control basin. It has been estimated that the difference in cost of rights-of-way necessary for the two improvements would amount to approximately $5,500,000.
It is rarely possible to build a flood-control dam which would not cause damage to property within the flowage line of such a dam. The Congress has authorized the Department to acquire land, easements and rights-of-way for all dam and reservoir projects for flood control. The purpose of the flood-control basin is to prevent, among other things, the inundation of lands and the destruction of agricultural and residential property downstream from the dam. Necessary highway relocations and alterations in the basin area are included in the design. Although construction of the Whittier Narrows Dam and Reservoir would at rare intervals inundate approximately 2,700 acres of land, that structure would prevent the inundation of about 65,000 acres of land downstream from the dam. The 1938 flood alone, with a discharge of 47,000 cubic feet per second at Whittier Narrows, caused damage to the area downstream from Whittier Narrows estimated at $1,200,000.
Existing law requires that the Secretary of War acquire in the name of the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary for the construction of any dam and reservoir project authorized for flood control and other purposes. In the acquisition of these lands, it is the policy of the Department to pay the fair market value of the property needed. Detailed appraisals are prepared by competent and impartial appraisers for the purpose of determining this value. In the preparation of these appraisals, full consideration is giren to all improvements, the urban or rural character of the property, and comparable recent sales in the vicinity. Characteristics such as type of soil, fertility, timber, and the state of cultivation are carefully noted and all crops are evaluated.
It is not believed that the Whittier Narrows Dam will be an unsightly structure, or objectionable to the greatest number of people in the area. The dam, as proposed, would have a maximum height of about 49 feet and would be 15,600 feet long. The outlet structures are of modern design and special attention has been given to outside finishing so that the whole structure will be pleasing to the eye. The main dam will also be built with smooth curves, with side slopes constructed to uniform grades in a manner which would fit in with any plan for beautifying or landscaping the area.
The area occupied by the Whittier Narrows Dam and flood control basin will include parts of six elementary-school districts which are associated with three high-school districts. Construction of the authorized project would require the alteration of the boundaries of these districts, five of which could be adjusted without much difficulty since the flood-control basin would occupy only small portions of those districts, ranging from 1.0 to 15.6 percent of their total area. The Temple School District, however, presents a more serious problem in that 51.4 percent of the district area would be required for the project. Although the greater part of the child population in the Temple School District resides in the area of the proposed flood-control basin, that part of the district which is outside of the project area contains the principal revenue-producing property, such as oil wells.
The problem of redistricting the area was discussed at a conference on June 28, 1945, with the Los Angeles County school authorities, who would be responsible for the realinement of the boundaries of the school districts in the Whittier Narrows project area. This problem has been under consideration by the school authorities for some time and at the conference they stated that the
realinement of the school-district boundaries, taking into account the revenue property and the distribution of the school-child population, may be classed as routine procedure. The school authorities have indicated their willingness to undertake the solution of this problem at the time they are notified of the contemplated initiation of the construction of the Whittier Narrows Dam.
The district engineer at Los Angeles reports that approximately 2/3 of the land within the Whittier Narrows Reservoir area will be available for rental for agricultural purposes. Under the terms of section 7 of the Flood Control Act approved August 18, 1941 (Public Law 228, 77th Cong.) 25 percent of all moneys received and deposited in the Treasury of the United States during any fiscal year on account of the leasing of lands acquired by the United States for floodcontrol purposes shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury to the State in which such property is situated. This money is to be expended as the State may prescribe for the benefit of public schools and public roads of the county, or counties, in which such property is located. In carrying out this provision, it is believed that the local communities may expect a substantial return from the considerable amount of land to be available for rental. It appears that the problem of realining the boundaries of the school districts affected by the construction of the Whittier Narrows project can be solved without undue difficulty and that there will be no appreciable loss in school revenue due to its construction.
Relative to the effect of the Whittier Narrows project on ground water conditions in the El Monte area, the district engineer at Los Angeles has thoroughly investigated this matter and has conferred with representatives of the Los Angeles County flood-control district, who have also carried on extensive ground water studies in the Whittier Narrows area for a number of years regarding the ground water problem in this area. The data compiled by the county authorities and by the Los Angeles district show that surface flows in the channel of the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo originate as releases from dams in the San Gabriel Mountains as rainfall below the dam or as rising water above the proposed dani site, that is, ground water becomes surface flow by seeping from the ground into the stream channels. The surface run-off from the dam releases and rainfall varies from zero flow during the dry season to major flows during the flood season. The contribution of rising water to stream flow has varied during the 30-year period of record from 26 cubic feet per second to 180 cubic feet per second. During June 1945 that contribution was estimated at 135 cubic feet per second. In addition to surface flows, underground water moves southward through the Whittier Narrows beneath the surface. This underground flow is estimated to be approximately 32 cubic feet per second.
The Whittier Narrows Dam will be operated to pass moderate surface flows without appreciable retardation and only during major storms will there be any considerable amount of water in the flood-control basin. This water will be released as rapidly as possible in order that flood storage may be available in the event of a succeeding flood. When the flood-control basin has impounded the flow resulting from major storms, the water table immediately under the reservoir will be raised slightly during the short periods of the storage, Any effect on the water table upstream from the limits of the flood-control basin, however, will be negligible and of very brief duration,
In addition, the construction of the Whittier Narrows Dam will not result in any retardation ofthe underground flow through the Narrows, since the thickness of the alluvial fill at that site is about 600 feet.
The ground water table in the vicinity of El Monte has always been high as a result of natural conditions. Even during the drought ending in 1905 the water table in that area lay only from 5 to 8 feet below the surface. This high-water table will not be aggravated by the construction of the Whittier Narrows floodcontrol basin, but will continue to exist unless adequate drainage facilities are provided.
Mr. VOORHIS. Of course, we can keep on going before these Appropriations Committees and fight the appropriation and probably I will, but I do not think that is the orderly way to do it.
General CRAWFORD. I agree with you.
Mr. VOORHIS. This is the orderly way we are doing it this morning, and this is the first opportunity I have had.
Mr. ALLEN. I am inserting for the record statements presented to the chairman of this committee by the Honorable Clyde Doyle, Representative in Congress from the Eighteenth District of California :
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Washington, D. C., April 18, 1946. Whittier Narrows Dam, Authorization therefor, Los Angeles County, Calif. The FLOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE,
House Office Building. (Attention: Hon. William Whittington, chairman.) MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: By express authorization of the undersigned members of the House, from Los Angeles County, Calif., I communicate to you as follows, to wit:
We respectfully request that you do not withdraw authorization for the aboveindicated flood-control project.
We are informed that the board of supervisors of Los Angeles County has just wired you to the same effect.
All Members of this House from Los Angeles County—with the exception of one has heretofore registered approval of this project when the funds therefor were available. We now emphatically request that the authorization be not withdrawn.
Signed by Clyde Doyle for the following members of the House from Los Angeles County: Hon. Cecil King, Hon. John Philips, Hon. Gordon L. McDonough, Hon. Ned R. Healy, Hon. Ellis E. Patterson, Hon. Chet Holifield. Sincerely yours,
CLYDE DOYLE, M. C.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., April 18, 1946. The FLOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE,
House Office Building. (Attention : Hon. William Whittington, chairman.) MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: On behalf of the Board of Water Commissioners of Long Beach, Calif., who have just telegraphed me, I now register protest against any withdrawal of authorization for the Whittier Narrows Dam project as follows:
Mr. Chairman: I now emphatically request that if there is any thought on the part of the committee of withdrawing this authorization that you allow opportunities for hearing of witnesses against such proposed withdrawal. I thank you. Sincerely yours,
CLYDE DOYLE, M. C. P. S.--Heretofore I have filed with you a protest on any such action, in which I was joined by Congressmen Healy, Patterson, McDonough, King, Phillips, and Holifield. Enclosed you will find copy of telegram I just received from the board of water commissioners.
I am also inserting for the record a telegram received by the chairman of this committee from Mr. M. R. Bowen, president, San Gabriel Valley Protector Association; a telegram from Mr. H. E. Hedger, chief engineer, Los Angeles County flood-control district; and a telegram from Mr. George M. Winstead, president, board of water commissioners:
LONG BEACH, CALIF., April 18. Hon. CLYDE DOYLE,
House of Representatives, House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: Los Angeles Herald reports that Congressman Jerry Voorhis has requested House Flood Control Committee to withdraw authorization of Whittier Narrows Dam. We are wiring our protest to Congressman Whittington, and request that
you and Congressman Chet Holifield appear before the committee and back our
BOARD OF WATER COMMISSIONERS,
WHITTIER, CALIF., April 17, 1946. Hon. WILLIAM M. WHITTINGTON, Chairman, Flood Control Committee, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C.: Understand Congressman Voorhis requests Whittier Narrows project be withdrawn. Protest this on grounds would deprive several thousand people of necessary flood protection.
M. R. BOWEN, President, San Gabriel Valley Protector Association.
Los ANGELES, CALIF., April 17, 1946. Hon. WILLIAM M. WHITTINGTON, Chairman, Flood Control Committee, House of Representatives,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: News items today indicate Congressman Voorhis has requested that House Flood Control Committee withdraw authorization for Whittier Narrows project. The Los Angeles County Flood Control District protests this proposal on grounds that it would prejudice necessary flood protection for several hundred thousand people. All reasonable alternative plans have been studied by Army engineers and found not economically justified. Delay resulting from temporary withdrawal of authorization would be very expensive due to continuing encroachment of private development in the reservoir area. Request committee take no action on Voorhis suggestion unless all interested parties are given full hearing.
H. E. HEDGER, Chief Engineer, Los Angeles County Flood Control District.
LONG BEACH, CALIF., April 18, 1946. Hon. W. M. WHITTINGTON, Chairman of Flood Control Committee, House of Representatives, .
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.: According to a news item in Los Angeles paper, Congressman Jerry Voorhis has requested your committee to recommend withdrawal of authorization of Whittier Narrows Dam, as contained in House Document No. 838, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session. On behalf of the city of Long Beach, with more than 250,000 population, we protest any such withdrawal, which would disrupt the entire remaining flood-control program in the San Gabriel River and the lower reaches of the Los Angeles River and expose 250,000 people living between the Whittier Narrows and Long Beach to the extreme hazard of uncontrolled floods from an area of 316 square miles lying above the Narrows.
BOARD OF WATER COMMISSIONERS,