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Mr. ALLEN. I want to say further, to obviate the necessity of my filing a further written statement, because of the urgency, that I spent most of the time when Congress was in récess in 1945—I spent most of the time I had back in the floodwaters helping the people. I saw first hand the very serious plight of the people. I saw the damage.
I went in a motorboat, and I say, for the information of the committee, I went in a motorboat and drove up and down a railroad and over a highway, and we could not tell where the highway was, or where the railroad was except by the telephone wires.
On several occasions when I went under the telephone wires, the young man driving the motorboat would tell me to duck my head as we went under the telephone wires.
I say that for the information of the committee so they may realize just how serious it was. That happened in territory that old people did not remember when that land was covered with water before.
These gentlemen on the committee, Senator Overton, Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Larcade, know where that place is. We drove up the highway in a motorboat. Those people had not experienced anything like that before.
I hope and feel that the committee will realize the urgency of this, and I appreciate the statement that Mr. Dixon of the Interior Department makes, that he realizes the urgency of this relief, and I am sure that he is going to cooperate, and I appreciate the cooperation of the engineers. In fact, we have had good cooperation all around, and I greatly appreciate it, and I know that I express the appreciation of everybody in Louisiana.
Now, if there is no one else to be heard, the committee will stand in recess until 2 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 1:37 p. m., the committee recessed until 2 p. m.)
NORTH CANADIAN RIVER, OKLA. The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order. The only other project on our agenda today is the North Canadian River, Okla., project. Have you an analysis of the project there, General Crawford ?
General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir. There are two others that were on the schedule, the comprehensive plans for the Arkansas River and the White River
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I said individual projects. The only other individual project that I have here is the project for protection of Oklahoma City. I asked you about it in general terms yesterday. For the record, Colonel Herb, will you give us the project, proposed solution, estimated cost as compared with the benefits?
STATEMENT OF COL. E. G. HERB, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CIVIL
WORKS DIVISION, OFFICE, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS Colonel HERB. The authority for this report is contained in the Flood Control Act of 1937. It is a report on the flood control problem in the vicinity of Oklahoma City.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the population? Colonel HERB. Oklahoma City has a population of a little over 200,000.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the proposed solution?
Colonel HERB. The proposed solution is the construction of a levee floodway on the main stream of the North Canadian River, for the protection of urban and industrial property in Oklahoma City. The Federal cost of this project is $2,037,000; the non-Federal cost is $897, 000, making a total of $2,934,000.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the ratio of costs to benefits?
Colonel HERB. It is a favorable recommendation requiring local cooperation in the usual manner.
(The report of the Chief of Engineers together with the comments of the State of Oklahoma and the Secretary of the Interior are as follows:)
Washington, May 7, 1945.
1. I submit for transmission to Congress my report with accompanying papers and illustrations on preliminary examination and survey of North Canadian River, Okla. and Tex., and Bea ver River, Okla., authorized by the Flood Control Act approved August 28, 1937.
2. North Canadian River, 843 miles long, rises in northern New Mexico, flows easterly for 65 miles in New Mexico and 241 miles in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, of which 18 miles are in Texas, and thence 537 miles southeasterly in Oklahoma to join South Canadian River 43 miles above the junction of the latter with Arkansas River. Wolf Creek, a tributary draining 1,660 square miles, enters North Canadian River about 488 miles above its mouth. Upstream from Wolf Creek to the vicinity of the Oklahoma-New Mexico line, the main stem of North Canadian River is known locally as Beaver River. North Canadian River has a generally narrow drainage basin of 16,850 square miles consisting largely of rolling plateau and prairie country. Its largest tributary is Deep Fork River; which drains 2,540 square miles and enters the main stream 14.5 miles above the mouth. Oklahoma City, with 1940 population of 205,000, located on both banks of the main stream about 270 miles above the mouth, is the largest municipality in the basin and an important commercial and industrial center. It is situated within the extensive and highly developed oil and gas fields of the lower basin. General farming is also carried on in this eastern section. In the western half of the watershed, which is semiarid, the major activities are stock raising, dairying, and production of wheat and forage crops principally by dry-farming methods. Irrigation is practiced to minor extent
3. Stream flow of North Canadian River ranges from long periods of low discharge to major floods with frequent local flash floods which may occur in any section due to intense precipitation over small areas. At Oklahoma City, where the channel has a capacity of about 8,600 cubic feet per second, flood stage was exceeded at least 28 times during the 26-year period 1914 to 1939, inclusive. The maximum flood of record occurred in October 1923. It had a peak discharge estimated at 80,000 cubic feet per second at El Reno, 37 miles upstream from Oklahoma City, and reached a peak of 13.2 feet above flood stage at Oklahoma City. Areas of 271,000 acre along the lower 650 miles of North Canadian River and of 79,000 acres along the lower 200 miles of Deep Fork River are subject to inundation under natural flow conditions. On other tributaries and the headwaters the areas subject to flood are small. About 50 percent of the flood plains on North Canadian and Deep Fork Rivers are in cultivation. Urban property in the flood plain consists principally of 5,200 acres at Oklahoma City, containing many commercial and industrial developments, and a resident population of over 13,000. Included in the basin flood plains are numerous highways, railroads, and other utilities. Based upon past flood stages, the district engineer estimates the average annual direct and indirect flood losses on North Canadian River at $1,177,000, of which $488,000 applies to Oklahoma City. Similar damages on Deep Fork River are estimated at $300,000. It is reported that at least 15 persons have lost their lives as the result of floods in the basin, of which 13 were at Oklahoma City.
4. Local interests have constructed a number of improvements for flood control and various water use purposes along North Canadian and Deep Fork Rivers, some with Federal aid. Insofar as these relate to flood control they have generally afforded only minor protection to small areas. Congress has authorized the construction of three reservoirs : Optima Reservoir, on North Canadian River with dam site 638 miles above the stream mouth; Fort Supply Reservoir on Wolf Creek near its mouth; and Canton Reservoir on North Canadian River at mile 394. Fort Supply Reservoir with 102,000 acre-feet for flood control and a permanent pool of 16,000 acre-feet for recreation and preservation of wildlife has been placed in operation. Costs to June 30, 1943, for this improvement were $7,324,484 for new work and $17,759 for maintenance. Construction of Canton Reservoir has been commenced but further work has been deferred until after the war emergency. Plans for this improvement provide for 240,000 acrefeet of storage for flood control and 150,000 acre-feet for conservation of water and for siltation. Of the conservation storage, 40.000 acre-feet is allocated for pollution abatement. The reservoir has a drainage area of 11,640 square miles. Its estimated first cost is $13,870,000. At the Optima site the drainage area is 2,560 square miles. The plan for this flood-control reservoir provides for 77,500 acre-feet of storage. No construction work has been undertaken. With the three reservoirs in operation, the main stem of North Canadian River will be afforded a substantial degree of flood control. Considering the floods of 1914 to 1939, for example, the district engineer finds that the three reservoirs would have reduced the maximum flood of 1923 to a discharge of 20,000 cubic feet per second at Oklahoma City and that had the reservoirs been in operation only seven of the floods would have exceeded flood stage at that point, of which the largest would have been 5 to 6 feet above flood stage. However, studies of the district engineer indicate that even with the reservoirs in operation a flow of 45,000 cubic feet per second at Oklahoma City from the intervening drainage area of 770 square miles can be expected from a repetition of past storm conditions and that a flood of 96,000 cubic feet per second could occur. Based upon the 1940 flood plain development at Oklahoma City, repetition of the flood cycle of 1914 to 1939, inclusive, and assumption that the authorized reservoirs are in operation, the district engineer estimates the average annual direct and indirect flood damages at Oklahoma City at $66,000.
5. Local interests generally favor comprehensive measures for flood control with provisions for conservation storage of water for irrigation and pollution abatement. They advocate early completion of the authorized reservoirs, state that supplementary levee protection is needed at Oklahoma City, and indicate that no flood problem exists along the main stem below Oklahoma City requiring solution except to the extent that protection may be afforded by the authorized reservoirs. For protection in the upper basin, the Optima Reservoir is preferred but a substitute reservoir in the general vicinity apparently would be acceptable to local interests. Interests along Deep Fork River prefer small upstream reservoirs to the concentration of flood-control storage in a large main stem reservoir. For that stream local interests also suggest consideration of a combination levee and reservoir program. Oklahoma City and County have expressed their willingness to furnish rights-of-way for levee work at Oklahoma City, to bear the costs of highway bridge changes required, to maintain the levee works, and to hold the United States free from any damages due to such an improvement.
6. The district engineers finds that immediate construction of Optima Reservoir or a reservoir at any other site in the vicinity, either for flood control alone or in combination with other water uses, including irrigation, would not be economically justified and concludes that this work should be delayed until such time as the benefits warrant the expenditures required. In view of the substan. tial degree of flood control that will be afforded by the authorized reservoirs, even without Optima Reservoir for the present, he concludes that no other works for flood control along North Canadian River would return benefits commensurate with the costs except for local protection improvements at Oklahoma City. For this urban and industrial area he proposes a leveed floodway to afford a freeboard of 4 feet above a peak flow of 25,000 cubic feet per second. The district engineer estimates the first cost of this work to the United States at $2,142,000 for construction, relocations, and alterations of railroad bridges, special treatment of oil wells to permit continued operation, and power- and pipe-line changes, and to local interests at $792,000 for rights-of-way and alteration of highway bridges. Total annual costs for the improvement are estimated at $155,000 and the average annual benefits at $170,000—a ratio of estimated costs to benefits of
1 to 1.10. Included in the estimated annual benefits are $62,000 for the prevention of direct and indirect losses from floods of the magnitude of those which occurred during the years 1914 to 1939, inclusive, after modification by the authorized reservoirs and with the present flood-plain developments, $31,000 for prevention of damages which these floods would cause when the flood plain is further developed as a result of the protection afforded by the reservoirs, $38,000 for preventing damages by possible larger floods, and $39,000 for land-enhancement values due to rendering the flood plain suitable for increased development.
7. As to Deep Fork River, the district engineer finds that small tributary reservoirs to control the floods of that stream would not be wholly effective and that the construction of these or local improvement works would not be economically justified at present. His preferred plan for that stream provides for a dam on the main stem 81.4 miles above the mouth to create a reservoir with 675,000 acre-feet of storage for flood control and 25,000 acre-feet of conservation storage at an estimated first cost of $7,605,000. However, the estimated annual costs are $375,700, as compared with estimated average annual benefits of $206,000. In the opinion of the district engineer, this reservoir affords the most practicable means for securing relief from the floods of Deep Fork River, but the benefits are insufficient to justify its construction at this time. Moreover, local interests have expressed opposition to the work.
8. The district engineer recommends provision of the leveed floodway at Oklahoma City at an estimated cost to the United States of $2,142,000 for construction, subject to conditions which in substance require that responsible local agencies furnish assurances satisfactory to the Secretary of War that they will (a) provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements and rights-of-way necessary for consruction of the improvement; (b) bear the cost of necessary alterations of local highway bridges; (c) hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works; and (d) maintain and operate all works after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War, including supervision, to insure that the construction of bridges or other works which might adversely affect the flood-carrying capacity of the channel at the locality will not be permitted. The division engineer concurs, with the added proviso that local interests bear the expense of any local works necessary for interior drainage of the protected areas, except the openings through the proposed levees.
9. The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, after affording local interests an opportunity to present additional information, concurs in general in the views of the reporting officers. However, it notes that in dividing the first costs of the proposed work at Oklahoma City between the United States and local interests, the district engineer has proposed that the United States bear the costs of changes to power and pipe lines and costs for treatment of oil wells to provide for their continued operation, estimated to total $105,000. In the opinion of the Board, these costs are a part of the costs of furnishing the rights-of-way and therefore should be borne by local interests. Accordingly the Board recommends provision of the leveed floodway at Oklahoma City at an estimated cost to the United States of $2,037,000 for construction, subject to the local cooperation proposed by the division engineer modified as indicated.
10. After due consideration, I concur in the views of the Board as to the need and justification for local works for flood control at Oklahoma City to supplement the authorized reservoirs and as to the local cooperation which should be required. However, subsequent to preparation of the Board's report, it has been learned that the city of Oklahoma City is planning the construction of an airport adjacent to the river in the vicinity of Western Avenue. If this airport improvement is to be carried out as now proposed, the leveed-floodway plan presented by the district engineer will require modification in this vicinity and this may necessitate a channel change, street and railroad alterations, and other work at increased cost. The proposal is in a preliminary stage and consequently modification of the floodway plan at this time is regarded as premature. However, authorization of the work should make provision for modification of the plan by the Secre. tary of War and the Chief of Engineers at the time of construction, if found advisable and practicable, to facilitate accomplishment of the airport improve ment. As the modification is not necessary for flood control, local interests should bear any resulting increase in the cost.
11. Accordingly, I recommend improvement of North Canadian River at Oklahoma City, Okla., by provision of a leveed floodway, in general accordance with the plans of the district engineer as shown on the accompanying drawings, with
such changes therein as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief
Chief of Engineers.
STATE OF TEXAS BOARD OF WATER ENGINEERS,
Austin, Tex., April 27, 1945. Maj. Gen. EUGENE REYBOLD, Chief of Engineers, United States Army,
Washington, D. C. DEAR ŞIR: In reply to your telegram of April 25 to Governor Stevenson regarding our comments on your report on the North Canadian River in Texas and Oklahoma :
We regret the delay in submitting our comments and trust it has not caused you any undue inconvenience.
We have examined and studied this report, and find that none of the projects included therein are in Texas, or would interfere with any present or future development on the stream and its tributaries in the State.
We have no suggestions or objections to offer to the plans as proposed in this report, but we do reserve the rights of the State of Texas to develop and use the waters of these streams and its tributaries arising in and/or flowing across the State should the occasion demand. Very truly yours,
C. S. CLARK, Chairman. Copy to Gov. Coke Stevenson, Austin, Tex.
OKLAHOMA PLANNING AND RESOURCES BOARD
STATE POSTWAR PLANNING COMMISSION DIVISION OF STATE AND INDUSTRIAL PLANNING DIVIBION OF WATER RESOURCES
DIVISION OF FORESTRY AND STATE PARKS
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., April 12, 1945. Maj. Gen. E. REYBOLD,
Chief of Engineers, W., Department, Washington, D. C. DEAR GENERAL REYBOLD: In reply to your letter of transmittal of your report on a preliminary examination and survey of the North Canadian River, Okla. and Tex., including Beaver River, Okla., together with reports of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and the division and district engineers, which is in conformance to Public Law No. 534, Seventy-eighth Congress, I herein make the following comments and recommendations which express the desires and views of the State of Oklahoma on this subject.
1. The ('anton project which was under construction at the outbreak of the war should be completed at the earliest possible date after the war emergency. Storage in that reservoir should be provided for the Canton irrigation project lands. The irrigation district is now in the process of organization, and the project plans are nearing completion by the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior. The 40,000 acre-feet of storage allocated to pollution abate