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Senator MILLER. You are reasonably certain of your statement that if it is not constructed, the fuse plug levee will be topped on account of the water going down there?
Mr. Jacobs. Yes, sir.
Senator MILLER. We have the same situation in the extension of the Eudora at the north end. That is what I want to talk to you about, in an effort to see if we can work out some kind of plan to prevent a topping of the fuse plug on the extension at the north end, because that is where our danger is, and it is a danger to Arkansas and likewise a danger to Louisiana, as you well know.
Mr. JACOBS. That is correct.
Senator MILLER. You are perhaps more familiar than I am with this, because I have not been with this particular matter all the time, although I was very much interested in the Overton bill, as you well know, somewhat as an obstructionist at times, I will admit, but nevertheless interested in it.
What are your suggestions, Mr. Jacobs, about the situation in the northern end of the Eudora floodway? I might say that Colonel Moses has furnished me with information on the options there. He says he has 56 percent of the total number of tracts and 69 percent of the value of the options in the extension.
For the equal protection of Louisiana and Arkansas, I think that while we have the problem before us, and while we are changing the plans, we should give consideration to that north extension of the Eudora. That is my interest in the matter. I want to cooperate with you if a plan can be worked out. I know that you have given a great deal of thought to these things. You are in close touch with the Army engineers, particularly at the Vicksburg office, and with the Mississippi River Commission.
Do you have any suggestions that you would care to make about the treatment of that northern end?
Mr. Jacobs. Senator, I believe that without any further delay the 35 miles of fuse-plug levees are ample as originally provided for in the 1928 act instead of the 60 miles.
Senator MILLER. We have 60 or 65 miles now, as I understand it.
Mr. JACOBs. I believe that the fuse-plug levee—and I thought at the time it was the intent-was to be put up to a grade equivalent to 60% feet on the Arkansas City gage or the 1914 grade
Senator MILLER. That is the law, I think.
Mr. Jacobs. Yes. There is, of course, a differential of 3 feet as provided for between the east side levees in the Mississippi and those on the west side. I have no objection, as much as I am concerned about the flood control situation in the State of Louisiana, to allowing that levee for the present time to remain at the 1914 grade until the engineers have completed the work they are doing, which will then prove whether or not it is necessary to construct the Eudora floodway.
Senator MILLER. Provided the levee is in fact raised to the 1914 grade?
Mr. JACOBS. Yes.
Senator MILLER. If that entire fuse-plug levee were raised to the 1914 grade, it would probably go a long way toward relieving the situation in Arkansas and in Louisiana.
Mr. JACOBS. That is correct.
Senator Miller. We might, of course, in the light of experiences sooner or later become convinced that necessity for the full Eudora floodway would be obviated.
Mr. JACOBS. It might be.
Mr. JACOBS. But we would have better protection, of course, if the levee were raised above the 1914 grade or if the back levee were constructed, as proposed, as the northern extension of the Eudora floodway. That levee would not only protect southeast Arkansas, but it would protect the Boeuf and Tensas Basins.
Senator Miller. Precisely.
Mr. JACOBS. I cannot see any reason why all of these levee changes requiring extensive set-backs should be made on the west side of the river. That would be nothing more than throwing out a large area of fine, fertile land by the setting back of that levee.
It is my opinion that somewhere above Catfish Point on the Mississippi side the levee should be set back. The width between Catfish Point and the levee on the west side is about a mile and a half. It is the only bottle-neck existing on the river with the exception of those at Natchez or Vidalia Point. We, ourselves, have appealed to the Mississippi River Commission to set the levee back on our side at Vidalia, eliminating that last one in the State of Louisiana. If you
will take the map and check all the points of big set-backs that were necessary along the river, you will find that in most cases they were set-backs on the Louisiana side. In one case 20,000 acres were involved, in another case 8,000, and in others 10. We have had to accept them.
Senator MILLER. You can look at Catfish Point there on the map, where it is a mile and a half between Catfish Point and Arkansas City. Above there is a reservoir of a good many miles between those levees.
Mr. Jacobs. That is correct.
Senator MILLER. You could, of course, cut that Catfish Point off, or we could raise that levee on the west side sufficient to protect ourselves there.
Mr. Jacobs. I might go further on that while we are discussing that particular point.
Following the 1928 act there was a survey made for the purpose of cutting off that point. A plan was decided upon as to the location of the set-back levee.
Senator MILLER. On the east side?
Mr. JACOBS. At Catfish Point. For some reason or other, it was abandoned, and that point has remained there like a sore thumb sticking out into the river. I was told by one or two of my friends with the Government engineers that it would be a fine thing to have that point, so that in the event of the occurrence of another 1937 flood, it would pile the water up on there and force the water up onto southeast Arkansas to crevasse.
Senator MILLER. Look at the map. That is what will happen to it. You cannot get all this water through this mile and a half bottleneck. You just cannot do it. It will pile up on somebody. Here is the fuse plug up here. It will come on to us and then go down onto you people.
I am not kicking so much about the Morganza down there as I am trying to protect you. We are trying to help each other. I am trying to protect these people in here, and, consequently, I am trying to protect the people lower down in Louisiana.
The thought I had in mind, very frankly, Mr. Jacobs, was this: There are two ways to do it. I am going to talk to the engineers as soon as I can about them. Build this levee around this bend right here to this bend at Rohwer. Then come right straight south, leaving us some of our land. We do not have any too much down there. Five thousand acres were taken away from us down here last year. Leave some of this and come down here and open that bottle-neck. Come down and let the engineers tie into the control here and build that levee to the 1928 grade. That will give sufficient flowage through there.
Mr. JACOBs. We in Louisiana do not oppose that. We think that would be a good solution.
Senator MILLER. Either do that or build the fuse plug to the 1914 grade.
Mr. Jacobs. Of course, I do not want to see that section of the river on either side jeopardized until I know the full protected amount of water, which would be 2,850,000 second-feet as an outflow there under the superflood, provided for. I do not believe it is provided for today in the lower stretch or the middle section of that river. However, I do up at that upper end. I believe it has been demonstrated-and was demonstrated during the 1937 flood--that that congestion has been moved farther south about 100 miles.
Senator MILLER. By adjusting the levees to the present flow lines, I can well understand how there will have to be some adjustment of the present levees in accordance with the present flow lines because of the cut-offs. It will probably pass a flood of 2,600,000 cubic feet, or 2,800,000 cubic feet down the river after it passed the Eudora. You could probably do it, especially with your increased velocity that you are getting.
Mr. JACOBS. Senator, you heard General Ferguson make the statement that he believed that the correction or the rebuilding of certain stretches of the levees in the low places, which were satisfactory grades before the cut-offs were made but are not satisfactory today, could pass 2,600,000 second-feet through that river. The super flood, which is a flood at that point 20 percent greater than that of 1927, is 2,850,000 second-feet as an outflow flood. The inflow flood is larger, but the difference is taken up by the back-water area. That leaves only 250,000 second-feet, does it not?
Senator MILLER. That is right.
Mr. Jacobs. If the flow is 75,000 second-feet to a foot of gage height, you will see, if they raised the levee lines on both sides about 3 or 4 feet, that the superflood could be passed.
Senator MILLER. Precisely, and that is the point I am trying to get at, only I was not able to state it as you have stated it.
The only thing that worries me is that bottleneck up there. How are we going to pass even a million cubic feet or a million and a half cubic feet through that particular bottleneck?
Mr. Jacobs. That point should be cut.
Senator MILLER. It is either going over to the Mississippi side or is going to come down through Arkansas and pass into Louisiana when the Arkansas and the White get on a rampage and there is any water in the Mississippi. That is what I want to have corrected along with what is proposed in this bill.
Mr. JACOBs. I think you are entirely correct.
Senator MILLER. I am going to propose an amendment to it so that we can. We are going to see if we can work it out along that line. I believe we can. I believe we are all entitled to it.
Mr. Jacobs. Senator Overton, I think Senator Miller is entirely correct. Not only from his viewpoint is he attempting to get protection for the area in the southeast Arkansas district, but I think that we in Louisiana are entitled to have additional protection, because any waters that crevasse over that fuse-plug levee or of any crevasse in that section will go two-thirds down through the Boeuf Basin as conditions exist today, and the other third will go down through the Tensas Basin.
Senator OVERTON. Personally, I have no objection to it at all and would like to see it done, but whatever project is to be authorized, I think should receive the approval of the Chief of Engineers.
Mr. JACOBS. Of course.
Senator OVERTON. It should be incorporated as an amendment to this bill or to any other bill.
Mr. JACOBS. Yes, sir. Senator MILLER. I think we can work out a project on that and still work out a differential.
Mr. JACOBS. That is correct. I think they are entitled to it, Senator.
Senator Bilbo. I would like to have your opinion as an engineer on this matter. If we follow Senator Miller's suggestion of building that back line, building that Eudora spillway up in that part of Arkansas, it will have a tendency to create a reservoir from the mouth of the Arkansas down to the Louisiana line, where that water will have to be diverted back into the levee channels of the Mississippi River. What effect will that have when you undertake to discharge the cumulative water in that reservoir into that smaller channel? What effect will that have on the levees that are protecting Mississippi and the upper part of Louisiana?
Mr. JACOBS. It probably might have a slight effect at that point where the tie-in would be made.
Senator BILBO. The point I make is that you will have a reservoir from this point down to the Louisiana line. Then you divert this volume of water that you have accumulated in this reservoir back into the channel between the two levees. That will naturally pile the water up and have a tendency to wreck the levees on either your side or the Mississippi side.
Mr. JACOBS. No, sir; I do not look at it in that way. My opinion about that is that if you set that levee back for that stretch across there, it is not a reservoir, it is only an excessive set-back location.
All levees that have been constructed since 1928 on the Mississippi River have been based on what we call a 30-year life or more. In the more thickly populated stretches of the river in a number of cases the locations of the levees have been based on a 50-year life, such as in that thickly-populated stretch in the St. James, St. John the Baptist, and St. Charles Parishes above the city of New Orleans.
That is only a set-back, but I do believe that the grades will have to be revised somewhat higher on both sides below that point. I think that is what you had in mind, and I think it should be done.
Senator BILBO. I was very much interested in your observations a while ago when you gave as your opinion that the only solution to a super flood, that it is entirely possible will come, is the reservoir scheme as the only way of controlling it.
You said you had lost hope of getting those reservoirs on the upper stretches of these streams to feed into the main stem of the Mississippi River. Since you have lost hope of solving the flood problem through reservoirs--and I think you are entirely correct-do you not think that the Eudora spillway is necessary for the protection of not only the Mississippi side but also the Louisiana side?
Mr. JACOBS. If I thought we would have a flood next year in excess of that of 1927, or if I thought we were going to have a superflood next year, I would say that we would be very thankful to have a floodway through the Eudora, but I am willing to take the chance, as changes are so rapidly being made in the river, of permitting the engineers to complete their work before sacrificing 700,000 or 800,000 acres of that land and causing an expenditure by the Federal Government of 103 million dollars. I would take my chances for a couple of years more, until the engineers had made their report.
Senator BILBO. In the event there was a superflood, what would 103 million dollars be compared to the losses that would be suffered when the levees broke?
Mr. JACOBS. Well, if the Mississippi River Commission had the money to start to proceed today on that floodway, they would not be able to comple it for a number of years.
Senator BILBO. Of course, we have to take that risk. In my mind there is no doubt but that some day you are going to have a synchronization of floods on all the streams—the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Red, and White and you will have a flood where you will need the Eudora floodway even if you raise the levees along either side of the present bed of the Mississippi River.
Do you have any plan of getting the right-of-way for the Eudora? We shall try to help each other, you understand.
Mr. Jacobs. That is a question which I think should be left to Congress.
Senator BILBO. All right; I did not mean to put you on the spot. Representative WHITTINGTON. Mr. Chairman, under the Overton bill you said that the only reservoir that was authorized was along the Yazoo River. May I remind you that, under the terms of the bill, without any modification, the St. Francis Reservoir is being constructed, and that the amendment fostered by Senator Bilbo, which I favored, merely puts the Yazoo on a par in every particular, the exact language of both bills being the same. And personally I do wish we had more of our reservoirs authorized and that out of the legislation I favor they built reservoirs throughout the country, in