Page images
PDF
EPUB

GARRISON DAM, MISSOURI RIVER The first project item I wish to mention is the Garrison Dam and Reservoir project on the Missouri River in North Dakota. This project is approximately 60 percent complete. The January budget carried an item of $39 million for this project in fiscal 1954, which in the April, revised, budget was reduced to $31 million.

I am not contending that this reduction is unwarranted, nor that it will unduly hamper or retard the work schedule for the project. Of course, it will affect it in some way. The most important result of any serious curtailment in construction funds, tending to delay or extend construction, is the affect upon the usefulness of the reservoir between now and 1956, in case of serious floods.

If we do not have any more serious flood than we had this year, we do not need to worry at all.

Mr. Davis. You have been fortunate this year.

Governor BRUNSDALE. If your committee feels that the $31 million item is all that is needed for the next fiscal year for this project, then I shall accept your judgment and be fully satisfied with that amount.

I want to mention here that the closure of the dam across the main channel of the river is now under way. Soon the waters of the mighty and oftentimes unruly Missouri will be passing through the many tunnels of the structure and not only be fully controlled at that point but will serve humanity in many ways.

RED RIVER OF THE NORTH, MINN.-N. DAK. The Flood Control Act of 1948 authorized a comprehensive plan for the improvement of the Red River of the North drainage basin, Minnesota-North Dakota, as recommended by the Chief of Engineers in House Document No. 185, 81st Congress, first session. This plan includes several projects on the main stem and on many of the tributaries in both Minnesota and North Dakota.

Almost all of the proposed works are wholly for flood protection. Those proposed on the main stem of the Red are for the cities of Grank Forks, Fargo, and Wahpeton in North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Moorhead, and Breckenridge in Minnesota. On the North Dakota tributaries, flood-protection improvements on the Maple, Lower Sheyenne, and Rush Rivers are proposed.

Both the January and the April budgets contain an approved estimate of $925,000 for initiating construction on the flood-protection works for the city of Grand Forks, and for completing work on 2 or 3 of the Minnesota tributaries. I want to support this estimate for those purposes and trust no reduction will be made therein.

The cities of Fargo and Wahpeton on the main stem of the Red have been doing considerable work in conjunction with the local district of the Army engineers getting ready to undertake the authorized floodcontrol improvements at those points. It is expected by another year, one or both of them will be ready to proceed with the local cooperation required under the project authorization.

RUSH RIVER

The local interests in the Rush River Basin in North Dakota are ready, willing and able to supply the non-Federal cooperation required in order to get that improvement under way as soon as possible. It involves the straightening, deepening, and widening of the present channel and excavate and provide a new channel in places where none exists.

This Rush River is a fast-flowing stream coming down from a rather rough and hilly area into the flat, level valley floor of the Sheyenne and Red Rivers. At many places there is no defined channel, and the result is that the on-rushing waters fan out and spread over the fertile farmlands and 4 years out of 5, greatly damage the crops. A costly network of small drains and ditches cover much of the lower area, but this does not do the job effectively or satisfactorily.

The Federal cost for the improvements proposed on the Rush River is estimated at about $550,000. Very little, if any, of this amount is included in the estimate of $925,000 for fiscal year 1954.

Personally, I feel that an appropriation should be provided for next year with which to initiate construction of the Rush River improvements. The North Dakota State Water Conservation Commission, of which I am chairman, is in full agreement with this position.

The farmers in the area, who for years have almost annually suffered flood damage, are ready to give the local cooperation required, and I trust your committee will find it compatible with its policy to provide the necessary funds.

Again I wish to thank you for the opportunity to be heard today.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, that is the substance of my statement. There will be others who will go more into detail, probably, as to the Rush and Grand Fork situations.

Again I wish to thank you for the opportunity to be heard today.

Mr. Davis. Thank you for your statement. We are pleased to have this opportunity to meet you here today, and that is particularly true because of the great regard in which we held your predecessor, Governor Aandahl, who, as you know, served as a member of this committee prior to the membership of his successor, Otto Krueger.

Governor BRUNSDALE. Thank you a lot.
Mr. Davis. Now, Mr. Krueger, do you have some other gentlemen ?

Mr. KRUEGER. Yes; I promised you it would not take but half an hour, and the delegation promised me, including the governor, that it would not take over 25 minutes. But you gave us half an hour.

The next witness is Mr. Rockwood.

Mr. Rockwood. Mr. Chairman, my name is Byron J. Rockwood, and I am city manager of Grand Forks, N. Dak. By profession, I am a graduate civil engineer and municipal administrator. I represent my city at this hearing under direction and authority of the mayor and city council.

The purpose of my appearance is to support the approved estimate in both the January and April budgets for flood-control works on the Red River of the North between Minnesota and North Dakota. The project for the comprehensive improvement in the Red River of the North drainage basin was authorized in the Flood Control Act of 1948, as recommended by the Chief of Engineers in House Document 185, 81st Congress, 1st session.

[ocr errors]

I wish to point out the needs for the proposed improvement at Grand Forks at this time. This city is the second largest in the State, with a population of approximately 28,000. The University of North Dakota, and important division points of the Great Northern and Nortlıern Pacific railroads are located here. It is also a commercial and distribution center for a large agricultural area in both North Dakota and Minnesota.

The residential area to be protected by the proposed construction works has had 19 floods during the past 71 years, of which 13 have done extensive damage; 6 of these have occurred during the past 10 years. I want to particularly point out the floods of 1947, 1948, and 1950 which were the most extensive and the damage the worst on record. The 1948 and 1950 floods reached a point which was higher than any flood since 1897, and the 1947 flood was the highest since 1920. I am not going to burden you with the various flood heights, but will leave pictures of these floods, which speak for themselves. In 1950, the river was officially above flood stage for nearly 2 months.

I would like to present to you these pictures. The first 2 on the top are the 1947 flood. These views, of course, are taken in different sections in that same area. The next is the 1950 flood which, of course, is the worst flood next to the 1897 flood on record. There is one of the Army ducks in one of those pictures taking furniture out of somebody's home.

The financial losses suffered by the citizens to their properties, the damage to municipal facilities and the justification for the budget have been described in the report of the Chief of Engineers. The inconvenience, hardships, and sufferings of evacuated families cannot be described nor evaluated in dollars.

The proposed project for Grand Forks has been endorsed at citizens' meetings. A special flood committee appointed to consider the program after the 1950 flood, approved the project as a means of preventing future damage to the area. The people residing in the area petitioned the mayor and city council to initiate the project. After two public hearings, the mayor and city council took the necessary legal action to proceed with the city's part of the program. I have with me certified copies of these proceedings, if they are wanted for filing.

These are copies of the proceedings of the city council, showing the city council's anproval of the project.

Mr. Davis. They may be filed.

Mr. Rockwood. The legal and financial assurances have been given. We are ready to see the project to its completion.

I participated in the hearing on this project before the Senate Public Works Committee in 1948. It is my fond hope that I can see it realized in the near future.

May I respectfully request and urge this committee to approve the budget estimate of $925,000 for this improvement.

Thank you.
If there are any questions, I would be happy to answer them.
Mr. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Rockwood.

Mr. Riley. I would like to ask one question. Is there any reason for these floods being worse in recent years than they were before,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

perhaps because of the cutting of timber out of the area and things like that?

Mr. ROCKWOOD. I presume that has had something to do with it. As I mentioned, in the 1947 flood Nature, so far as the land and everything else is concerned, was somewhat different. Also, I think there is a factor of timing as to whether the rivers all come in at one time or come in separately. Then, of course, I think, too, there has been a certain amount of drainage on farm lands which puts the water into the river much faster than in earlier years. In other words, I think it was ponded on the lands and not concentrated in the streams.

Governor BRUNSDALE. Then the Red River runs north and does not open up in the north end and sometimes does open up farther south.

Mr. Rockwood. Yes. That has something to do with the situation. Mr. Davis. Who is your next witness? Mr. KRUEGER. Mr. McIntyre. Mr. MCINTYRE. Mr. Chairman, my name is Kenneth McIntyre, and I live in Cass County, N. Dak., my post office address being Harwood. I am engaged in general farming, operating 986 acres which my wife and I own.

I have farmed in this area for more than 14 years, am now chairman of our school district, and have been on the township board of supervisors. I am presently the chairman of Rush River Water Conserration and Flood Control District, which is the capacity in which I appear before this committee.

Because of my lifelong residence in Cass County, my farming operations, and civic activities, I know every foot of land within the Rush River Basin, concerning which I wish to speak.

The Rush River, as indicated by its name, is a small fast flowing stream carrying flash floods from snow melt and rains from the higher and rougher country into the valley floor, where it loses its identity before reaching the outlet. Actually, it is a tributary of the Sheyenne River which enters the Red River of the North a few miles below. Because the Rush has no continuous channel, the waters spread over the farm lands at many points and, eventually, find their way through a network of small drains into the Sheyenne and Red Rivers.

The Flood Control Act of 1948 authorized the flood protection and improvement plans on the Rush River, as recommended in the report of the Chief of Engineers dated May 24, 1948, House Doc. No. 185, 81st Congress, 1st session. Ever since that time, local interests have been working to supply the necessary cooperation required under the authorization. This involved the enactment of State legislaion for the creation of a local flood control district with sufficient taxing authority to meet the annual operation and maintenance costs. Such final legislation was enacted at our legislative session recently adjourned. We are now in a position to supply the required local assurances and cooperation.

The plan of improvement recommended by the Corps of Engineers includes the straightening, widening and deepening of the present channel, and the making of a new channel in places where none exists. This work would be accomplished by the Corps of Engineers at Federal cost of approximately $550,000. Local interests must supply right-of-way, lands and easements, relocate and rebuild roads, highways and bridges and otherwise assume all other non-Federal charges. All of these are estimated at $175,000 to $200,000. After the project is completed, the local district must operate and maintain it.

Speaking from my own personal experience, I can state that my land has suffered from the flooding of the Rush River in 4 out of every 5 years. This holds true for my neighbors and others in the river basin, from the town of Amenia to the Red River.

I mentioned the system of small drains which carry the waters of the Rush River to the Sheyenne and the Red. These drains have been constructed over a period of perhaps 30 years or more. Their number have not only become a heavy cost burden to the farmers, but have created a nuisance and inconvenience to every affected landowner. In many instances farmers have land within overlapping drainage districts, making the annual per acre assessments high.

Mr. Chairman-I fully realize that there is no estimate in the budget for undertaking these improvements on the Rush River in next fiscal year. However, we feel that because only a small amount of work is scheduled in the Red River basin, it should be possible to undertake these improvements now, that the farmers are ready to supply the required cooperation.

We ask your favorable action, and thank you for the privilege of being heard.

Mr. Davis. Thank you for your statement, Mr. McIntyre. Now, Mr. Krueger, will you introduce your next witness?

Mr. KRUEGER. The next witness is Mr. Chaffee, who is also from the Rush River district.

Mr. CHAFFEE. Mr. Chairman, my name is L. F. Chaffee, and my home is in Amenia, N. Dak., where I was born and raised. I am connected with a general grain and seed business there, and operate approximately 2,000 acres of farmland in that area.

At this time, I am a member of the village board and a commissioner of the Rush River Water Conservation and Flood Control District. Because of my lifelong residence there, I am personally familiar with the serious drainage problem on the Rush River.

Although my town and immediate area have not suffered any damaging flood since 1943, we are in that reach of the river which supplies much of the waters which flood the lower areas mentioned by Mr. McIntyre. Because of this contribution to the downstream floods, my area is willing to assume its share of the local costs for the proposed improvements on the Rush River.

I wish to join in the request of previous witnesses for funds with which to undertake such improvement during next year.

Thank you, gentlemen, for the opportunity to be heard on this matter.

Mr. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chaffee, for your statement.
Mr. KRUEGER. Now, Mr. Fredrickson will probably conclude.
Mr. Davis. Mr. Fredrickson is an old friend of the committee.
We are glad to have you here.

Mr. FREDRICKSON. We promised, when we first saw you, that we would take just as little time as possible, and I just want to associate myself with the statements which have been made here.

I speak for the Greater North Dakota Association, which is our State chamber of commerce for promoting and developing our natural resources and water development there.

« PreviousContinue »