Page images
PDF
EPUB

General CRAWFORD. Reservoirs, levees, and bank protection total 7742 million dollars, of which the reservoirs represent by far the larger portion; about 72 million dollars.

The CHAIRMAN. And the local interests would be required under your report to acquire the rights of way for the levees below the reservoirs. General CRAWFORD. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. And the Government will provide for the reservoirs there as we do in other parts of the country. General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed in your own way, and give us your report on this with your recommendations. Mr. Allen will

Genproceed with this with your ceed in you

General CRAWFORD. A part of the report has already been briefed.

First, Red River has its source near Canyon, Tex., and it has a total length of 1,208 miles. I was a little high.

Denison Dam, a Federal improvement, is located 734 miles above the Mississippi River, where Red River forms the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma.

This report considers the flood problem along the right bank of the river between Denison Dam and Boyce, mile 140, and along the left bank from Denison Dam to Moncla, mile 80. Below these points the flood problem falls under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Commission.

Red River drains 38,000 square miles above Denison Dam, 28,000 miles thence to the Mississippi backwater area, and 25,000 square miles in that area and the basin of the Ouachita and Black Rivers.

The basin had a population of 2,816,000 in 1940.

The Federal navigation project covering the section below the Oklahoma-Arkansas boundary provides for improvement, snagging, dredging shoals, constructing levees, closing outlets, revetting banks and preventing cut-offs.

Existing Federal flood-control projects below Denison Reservoir, excluding those in the Ouachita River Basin and those which are part of the Mississippi River project, include six for levees and appurtenant works along the main stem, at four of which the levee work has been completed, two short cut-offs on the main stem which have been completed, and a project for bank protection in the vicinity of Shreveport which is now under way.

Federal reservoirs for flood control have been authorized but not yet constructed on Black Bayou, and Bayou Bodcau. Construction of Wallace Lake Reservoir at Cypress Bayou has been nearly completed. It is under way now.

These reservoirs will control a total of 1,140 square miles of draina ge area, tributaries of the Red River in Louisiana above Alexandria. Improvement of the channel of Bayou Bodcau below the reservoir has not yet been accomplished.

The Federal project for enlarging and snagging the lower 30 miles of the channel of Bayou Pierre, which enters Red River at mile 210, has been completed. Also the Federal project for Bayou desGlaises, Louisiana, located in the Mississippi-Red River backwater area, which provides for a diversion channel from the bayou to the West Atchafalaya Basin protection levee, has been completed.

In addition, some leveé work and cut-offs along Red River have been accomplished at a cost of $561,000 under provisions of the Emergency Relief Act of 1935. Local interests have constructed levees and appurtenant works intermittently along the Red River between Miles 40 and 540 at a cost of about $25,000,000. These constructed and authorized improvements are not adequate to afford protection against the largest floods.

The destructive floods of Red River below Denison Dam result from heavy rainfall run-off. Six great floods occurred between 1943 and 1900. Since 1900 the greatest floods are those of 1945, 1908, and 1930. The 1945 flood, which was the maximum of record between Fulton and Alexandria, had a peak discharge of 303,000 second feet at Shreveport.

Denison Reservoir, which provides approximately 234 million acre. feet of storage for flood control, and additional storage for hydro- . electric power development, may be operated to control all floods reasonably to be expected above Boggy Creek, mile 651. .

The inflow from uncontrolled areas may produce flood stages on the main stem below Boggy Creek in about 50 percent of the years.

With the present authorized flood control improvements completed, recurrence of the maximum floods of record would overflow about 1,026,000 acres along Red River between Boggy Creek and the Mississippi River backwater area.

The design flood, with a peak discharge greater than the flood of 1945, would overflow about 1,700,000 acres along that section of the river, about half of which are located behind existing, or authorized levee lines. Included in the above are 774,000 acres of crop land.

Local interests desire additional protection from floods along the section of the Red River under consideration. They advocate supplementing existing and authorized works by additional levee construction, bank stabilization, channel work and flood control reservoirs.

They have indicated a willingness to provide the necessary lands for levee, channel improvements and similar work. The reservoirs proposed, I just read you.

The project further contemplates enlargement of existing authorized leevees and provision of flood gates at an estimated Federal cost of 21/2 million dollars, and an estimated 3 million dollars for construction of additional revetments, dikes and similar works to stabilize the banks of the Red River, making a total estimated cost, as stated, of $77,500,000.

The cost to local interests for furnishing rights-of-way for channel stabilization and levee work is estimated at $200,000. The total annual cost, after taking credit of $100,000 for rentals, is estimated at $3,470,000. That is the direct benefit.

With the authorized and proposed improvements in operation, the stage for the design flood would be below its natural stage by 6.2 feet at Fulton, 10.2 feet at Shreveport, and 9.2 feet at Alexandria. The levees proposed are to afford a 3-foot freeboard above the design flood stage. · It is estimated that this work, when completed, would prevent flood damage averaging $2,700,000 annually, and would return benefits of $700,000 annually for making certain lands not now in cultivation suitable for use as crop lands; a total of $3,400,000 in direct benefits.

In addition to the direct, indirect and intangible benefits would accrue since the valley inhabitants would be relieved of the expectancy of frequent large flood damages. Proposed flood reservoirs, by reducing the peak stage of the design flood, would enable lands along Red River below the section under consideration to be afforded levee protection against such a flood at less cost than would be required for equal protection than without the reservoirs.

We believe that the cost of the plan proposed is commensurate with the benefit.

I think that covers the main points of the project, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, General.

Now, I note your report shows that the Red River Valley has 91,000 square miles, I believe. In other words, it is not only a long valley, but it is a wide valley.

General CRAWFORD. That is correct, sir.

Mr. ALLEN. I believe you also estimated in your report that the value of the lands, agricultural lands, flooded, was $100,000,000.

General CRAWFORD. That is correct.

Mr. ALLEN. General, you gave the flood damage of 1945, and you estimate the damage in 1945, which was the greatest flood on record, certainly the greatest since 1943, at $16,000,000.

General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.

Mr. ALLEN. It is well to bear in mind that that flood happened in the spring of the year before the farmers had started their crops, and if the flood had happened 2 or 3 months later, the damage would have been three or four times that much.

General CRAWFORD. That is correct, sir.

Mr. ALLEN. That was the longest flood of record, not only the greatest. I believe the record shows it was a 74-day flood.

General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.

Mr. ALLEN. General, as I understand your plan, it contemplates building the reservoirs, constructing the levees, to take care of the whole valley. In other words, you consider that this is a necessary part of the whole program in order to give the maximum amount of flood relief to that Red River Valley.

General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. One part is as necessary as the other.

General CRAWFORD. Right. They are both essential to the protection of that valley against floods.

Mr. ALLEN. These protective works, when completed, will give the people along the river a freeboard of 3 feet, I believe you said.

General CRAWFORD. Yes. What we call the “project flood,” which was some 20 percent greater than the 1945 flood.

Mr. ALLEN. In other words, with the designed flood of 20 percent greater than the 1945 flood, you have a 3-foot freeboard. General CRAWFORD. That is correct.

Mr. ALLEN. And you think that will give the valley the maximum amount of protection that can be obtained by the use of reservoirs and levees?

General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. General, is that all you have to say?

General CRAWFORD. There are further details in the report and charts and other diagrams.

Mr. ALLEN. General Crawford, did you have anything to say about this project ?

General CRAWFORD. No, sir; I have nothing to add.

Mr. ALLEN. Let the record show that as a ranking member of the committee, and one who has lived in that valley all of his life, I am tremendously interested in this project. It is something for which I have worked for years, and we are delighted that the engineers have worked out what seems to be a very fine comprehensive report, and we are delighted to have this project presented to the committee at this time. I am extremely anxious to have it approved, and to give the engineers the green light to start as soon as possible.

At this time I want to present to the committee my very distinguished and very cooperative colleague from Louisiana, Mr. Overton Brooks, who represents the Fourth Congressional District, just north of the Eighth District, and I want to ask him to make such statement as he desires to make at this time.

of operative wren. The this.co

STATEMENT OF HON. OVERTON BROOKS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you in particular and all the members of this committee for the cooperation the committee has given. The chairman, Mr. Whittington, has been very cooperative with us, and it is pleasant to be able to present a matter of this magnitude to the committee that has shown the cooperation this committee has shown.

Mr Chairman, this project is of such all-consuming importance to the people of my area that it is hard to describe the importance. · Anyone who has dwelled in the valley and seen the floods come and go, leaving in their wake desolation and despair, can appreciate to some extent, at least, the vital, consuming importance of a flood- • control project such as this one here today.

I happened to be down in the valley in 1945 when this major, this largest of all floods, occurred. I flew over a large part of the water and witnessed from the air the devastation being visited upon our people and their farms down there. I then went with the State Guard because the State Guard was called out, and it did an excellent job in cutting down the loss of life and property, and I went out into the remote areas to see the worse of the flood. I also took one or more boats and in this manner I went over the floodwaters to try to rescue some of those people, and also some of the animals caught in the floodwaters.

Those things are most tragic, and indicate the importance to all of us of such a project as this.

I think in 1945 the worst of the flood fell upon the people of my district, the Fourth Congressional District of Louisiana. It threatened a large part of my home city, Shreveport. It inundated certain outlying parts of the city. It threatened the great Army airport at Barksdale Field, and protection had to be given that field in order that the Army work performed at that air base could be carried on.

ct as thsf of the flood fello " Louisiana. It tertain

et as torst of nal Bhrevepor the suiven base

I am not going to take the time of the committee, Mr. Chairman, at this time to elaborate further, because we have many witnesses here from Louisiana being heard. But I would like to have an opportunity, at a later date, to extend my remarks further.

I want to conclude by saying that the engineers have done a very fine job on the report, and I want to say that our people are behind this program. They consider it top on the priority list of things to be done in that valley, and I am certainly behind it in every respect.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Brooks.

Gentlemen, it has been a very great privilege to me to have present at this very important hearing, the very distinguished senior Senator from Louisiana, Hon. John H. Overton.

Senator Overton was for some years a member of this committee, and is one of the outstanding authorities, we think, on flood control in the Nation. He is certainly one of the best friends the cause of flood control has ever had.

Speaking as a Louisianian, and the one representing the congressional district which Senator Overton once represented, we have very great appreciation of Senator Overton and the fine service he has rendered, and I want now to present to the committee Senator Overton, and ask him to make a statement, if he will.

STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN H. OVERTON, A UNITED STATES

SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA Senator OVERTON. Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for the very flattering praise you have employed in presenting me to the members of this committee.

I recall with a great deal of pleasure the time that I was a Member of the House and served as a member of this committee.

I have been interested in flood control, actively interested, ever since I have been a Member of the Congress. When I was elected to the Senate, some 13 years ago, I asked for and obtained membership on the Commerce Committee, and was also assigned to membership of the subcommittee considering flood control and rivers and harbors.

I shall make a very brief statement.

I appeared before the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors in support of this project. I want to say, incidentally, that at that meeting there was some very good representatives of the Red River Valley who have clearly and emphatically expressed public opinion, that were in attendance. They were unable to be here today, but we have other representatives from the valley. For instance, from Shreveport, we have some, and also of the Red River Improvement Association.

There was also Mr. John Ewing, publisher and director of the Shreveport Times, and he has a radio station in Shreveport, and Mr. Jacobs, president of the First National Bank, and to show the widespread interest in the project, Mr. Lachlan Macleay, who is president of the Mississippi Valley Association, journeyed from St. Louis to Washington and made a very strong statement in support of this project.

er in the projectssociation, jourmeent in support

« PreviousContinue »