Page images

Sacramento River continue to erode at its present rate and break through into Antelope Creek, water during moderate stages will flow down that channel and cause serious erosion to the left bank. Levels and cross sections taken in 1950 show that the bed of Antelope Creek is at an elevation of about 10 feet above the bed of the Sacramento River at this location. Should water from the Sacramento River break through the remaining bank, velocities down the old channel would be very high due to its steeper gradient and damages could be extensive. There are some buildings and homes along the channel which would be damaged or destroyed but the greatest loss would be to walnut, peach, and other orchards which are growing in the loose loamy soil immediately adjacent to the bank.

Further erosion of the bank and a breakthrough could be prevented by extending bank paving downstream in a manner similar to that placed by the Sacramento district in 1950. Based on reconnaissance, it is estimated that such work would cost about $50,000.

Since there is no authorized project covering this reach of the river, the Sacramento district has no project funds which could be utilized in undertaking the above work. The Sacramento district has from time to time utilized emergency funds to accomplish work at critical locations. However, their use is restricted to the repair of flood-control works and to provide bank protection to protect public works, either of which are involved in this instance. The work accomplished by the Sacramento district in 1950 utilized substantially all of the remaining funds specifically made available to this district by the Flood Control Act of August 18, 1941, for work along the Sacramento River and tributaries in Tehama County from Red Bluff southerly.

C. C. HAUG, Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Engineer.

FEBRUARY 6, 1953.


There is no authorized project in the reach between Chico Landing and Red Bluff on the Sacramento River. Channel clearing, rectification, snagging, and bank protection on the Sacramento River and tributaries in Tehama County and from Red Bluff southerly at a cost of $150,000 was authorized in the Flood Control Act of August 18, 1941. This work was authorized and money was provided without benefit of a report from the OCE. It is understood that it was put in the act by Congressman Englebright.

The Sacramento district up until August 1950, had confined its work under the foregoing authority to clearing, channel rectification, and snarging. In Auril 1950, it was found that Antelope Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River within the subject area, had broken through its bank at a point where its course was parallel and close to the Sacramento River and that it was discharging into the Sacramento River at that location. Local residents feared that at high stages the main Sacramento River Channel would take over the Antelope Creek Channel and cut off a large acreage of land which lies between the two streams. The Sacramento District, after investigating the problem, agreed to utilize the funds remaining in that authorization to do bank protection work at the Antelope Creek location. This work was completed in April 1951.

Bank protertion, levee construction, and navigation in the reach between Chico Landing and Red Bluff is covered in a report prepared by the Sacramento District in February 1951. However, the report was returned for revision, and is now scheduled for resubmission on June 1, 1953. The revised report, if approved and authorized will provide, among other things, the bank protection up to a certain cost. The location where this type of work will be performed will be determined when funds are made available.

No authority now exists to undertake bank-protection work in the Chico Landing-Red Bluff reach of the river, as the funds authorized by the 1941 act have been expended. In general emergency funds for this type of work can only be used to strengthen, rebuild, or repair existing flood-protection works.

Mr. ENGLE. The map prepared on Butte Creek, if not made a part of the transcript, I believe should at least be a part of the committee's file. I know these maps sometimes are very difficult to duplicate.

Mr. Davis. It will not be possible for us to include the map in the hearings, but we would be glad to have it for the committee files and for reference.

Mr. ENGLE. We have the same difficulty, but the map is a good thing for the committee to have, because it clearly illustrates what we are talking about.

Thank you very much, we appreaciate your courtesy.
Mr. DAVIS. We are glad to have had you here.

(The following letter was received from Congressman Clair Engle for insertion into the record :)

MEMORANDUM To: Congressman Glenn Davis, Chairman, Subcommittee on Army Civil Func

tions Appropriations. From: Congressman Clair Engle.

My interest is in the project known as Little Chico-Butte Creek which is a part of the project normally referred to as Sacramento River, major and minor tributaries. These flood-control works were approved by the Flood Control Act of 1944, House Document No. 649, 78th Congress, 2d session, and amended by the Flood Control Act of 1950, House Document No. 637, 81st Congress, 1st session. Up to the present the Federal Government has spent $946,000 for levee construction and channel clearing and rectification. An estimated $700,000 of Federal funds and $90,000 of State funds (the latter being presently available) is necessary to complete the project.

It is my understanding that the Sacramento district office of the Corps of Engineers requested sufficient funds to complete this project but that the request was deleted either here in the Washington office or by the Bureau of the Budget.

It would be very much appreciated if you would inquire of the Army engineers as to the status of this project in order that the record may verify the foregoing statements, and secondly, ask the representatives of the Army engineers whether or not an item was submitted in the district engineer's budget and if such is the case where it was stricken from their request—that is whether it was stricken by the national office here or by the Bureau of the Budget.

Your getting this information into the record for me will be very much appreciated.

The Corps of Engineers in its budget recommendations for fiscal year 1954, made in September 1952, included funds in the amount of $643,000 for completion of the work on the Butte, Little Chico, Ash, and Roberts Creeks. The ap proved budget, as submitted in January 1953 by the President, did not include any funds for this work. The recommendations of the Corps of Engineers to the Bureau of the Budget was based on a similar recommendation by the Sacramento district engineer and the division engineer of the south Pacific division.

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 1953.





Mr. Davis. We are pleased to have before the subcommittee this morning Representative Gardner Withrow, and a delegation from the southwestern part of the State of Wisconsin. I am going to ask my colleague, Mr. Withrow, to introduce these gentlemen in order that they may present the material which they have for the information of the subcommittee.

Mr. WITHROW. Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman, for giving us this opportunity to appear before you.

I regret very much that my colleagues were detained due to the fact that their plane was grounded at Milwaukee, Wis. However, I do want to assure you that they are very vitally interested in the completion of the surveys for flood control and that also Congressman Allen of Illinois

part of this project is in his district—is interested in the project and has authorized me to speak for him. Likewise Senator McCarthy and Senator Wiley, both of Wisconsin, are very much interested in both of the flood control projects.

First of all, I will take the Pecatonica flood control project. The preliminary examination and survey was authorized in section 11 of the Flood Control Act approved July 24, 1946, which is Public Law 526, 79th Congress, 2d session. This study was authorized and directed for flood control and allied purposes including channel and major drainage improvements and flooding as aggravated by or due to wind or tidal effects.

Now, this flood control survey of the Pecatonica went forward. As a matter of fact, as of October 1, 1949, it was 50 percent complete and a report, a completed report was scheduled to have been in Washington, D. Ć., January 15, 1950, but owing to the fact that the President issued an order, I believe in July of 1952, the survey was dropped because of insufficient funds.

We are asking for $25,000 to complete the survey on the Pecatonica. We are basing that $25,000 on assurance from both Colonel Deed, who was the division engineer at Rock Island, and Colonel Finley, who has just recently succeeded him, that $25,000 was the amount needed to complete the survev.

First of all, I will give you the historical background on the Pecatonica. This river has been overflowing or backing up on the abutting property regularly year after year. Up until 1947, the average amount of damage done in the watershed and, by the way, the watershed is an area covering 2,580 square miles, 1,787 of that being in Wisconsin and the other 800 square miles being in Illinois. Up until 1947, according to a survey made by the Army engineers and the State Planning Organization of Wisconsin, the average damage done to the area in Wisconsin was between $175,000 and $250,000 annually. That is in Wisconsin. We are informed that the damage in Illinois, the average damage, was substantially more than that annually. This is up to 1947. Since 1947, there have been more floods which have been more devastating. The flood for 1950 in Wisconsin alone amounted, according to the estimates of the Army engineers, in conjunction with the survey made by the State planning board, amounted to over $2 million. It seems as though we are in a cycle of floods in the Northwest. In La Crosse, for instance, we have had more floods than we ever had before.

I am sure that the folks who were delayed in getting here have with them photographs of the floodwaters, but I believe you are also interested probably in the dollars and cents actual evaluation of flood damage by some Government agency rather than pictures because pictures sometimes do not tell all of the story. However, I will say this, that in 1950, if they would have had the rainfall around Darlington in Lafayette that they had in Grant County, they would have had three times the damage in Lafayette County.

The people in this area want to do everything they possibly can to help themselves but they do not know just exactly what should be done. They need this survey completed so as to give them a practical solution so that they know what sort of an approach they should make and a reasonable assessment of what they can expect it will cost. Though the communities along the Pecatonica have sought and still seek the aid of the established United States flood-control agencies in dealing with their flood problem, they are endeavoring to help themselves as much as they can. A dam on the Pecatonica at Martintownnow, Martintown is on the Illinois border but it is in Wisconsin just above the Illinois line-is thought to aggravate the flood damage and arrangements have been made to remove it without cost to the United States. The necessary funds, $10,000, have been provided through contributions by interested private individuals. The consent of the Wisconsin State Public Service Commission has been secured. All incidental requirements have been met. The actual physical removal has taken place.

In addition to that. the Wisconsin State Conservation Commission is planning the construction of a combination conservation and floodcontrol dam on one of the headwater tributaries, namely, the Yellowstone, at an estimated cost of $350,000. So you can see that the people have really tried to help themselves in that area. They have made an all-out effort as far as they possibly can but they are not able to meet it because, first of all, they do not know how to meet it. I would like to file with the committee a map of this area, if I may. I would say also that I would like to file with the committee a copy of a letter that I received from M. W. Torkalson, director of regional planning, the Wisconsin State Planning Board. This letter is dated as of July 25, 1950, it does give you a lot of historical background that you should have relative to this very important project on the Pecatonica.

Then I would like also to file with you a petition by Senator Melvin J. Olson of Wisconsin and others who constitute a committee appointed by the Governor of the State of Wisconsin relative to the Pecatonica flood-control project. It contains a lot of factual data that I am sure that you will find very interesting.

I would like to make a brief statement, if I might, relative to the Kickapoo flood control, if that is permissible. It will just take a few moments.

This project is one which is in the same category with the Pecatonica project in that the survey has been started but is about 50 percent complete. Colonel Yoder who was the Chief Engineer of the St. Paul office which has jurisdiction over this particular area, assured me that $25,000 would take care of the completion of the survey. The gentleman who has succeeded him very recently, I have not had an opportunity to contact him relative to this matter, but in the Kickapoo the damage I would say ranges, and I have not the figures on this, but comparing it with the others I imagine the damage there would amount in that valley annually in normal times to more than $400,000 a year, well over that. Of late years, since 1947, we have the same situation there we had on the Pecatonica that we have had more water and therefore the floods have been more devastating. We have had them every year almost without exception. As a matter of fact, they were so regular that the real reason for removing the Chicago and Milwaukee branch railroad line was due to the fact that maintenance was so high due to flood conditions in that particular valley.

What we need is a completion of the survey so that we know exactly what should be done to protect the people of this very fertile valley. We have diversified farming there, as you well know, Chairman Davis. We have dairying; the growing of tobacco, the growing of apples, and so forth. We are badly in need of relief. I don't know who else we can come to except the Federal Government which has established the machinery to conduct such surveys but which have been discontinued for lack of funds.

Mr. Davis. There are two things I should like to bring to your attention. One of them is that in the Agriculture Department appropriations bill, which was reported out by the full committee this morning, there is provision for a number of pilot flood-control projects to be constructed by the Department of Agriculture. The list in the hearings of that agency, although we need to recognize that they are tentative allocations and cannot completely be relied on, shows the west branch of the Kickapoo River listed as one of those pilot projects.

The second thing I want to call to your attention is that it has been our long-standing practice to appropriate a sum of money for surveys and examinations without attempting to designate just where the money is to be used for surveys. So I do not know whether we are in a position to specifically tell you whether or not in the money that we might appropriate for surveys and examinations that there would be money for the resumption of the survey on the Pecatonica River.

Mr. WITHROW. I would like to introduce our good friend from Wisconsin, State Senator Olson, who in turn will have a few words to add to the record and then will take charge of the hearing.

Mr. Davis. We will be very glad to hear you, Senator.

Mr. Olson. Congressman Davis, it is surely a pleasure to be granted the privilege to be heard on this valuable project, the control of the Pecatonica River. I am going to be very brief, because we are limited for time. So, rather than go into detail at all at this time I will turn things over to Mr. Howard L. Grange of Darlington. I will introduce to you Mr. Ernest Glossener of Darlington, Mr. John Gibson from Darlington, and Mr. Robert France from Darlington.

Because Mr. Grange has the pictures and all of the data, I think it would be folly for me to take up any of our valuable time.

Mr. Davis. We will be glad to hear from you, Mr. Grange.

Mr. GRANGE. I presume, Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee you want something of an elaboration on what has gone before, but we have to preface that by saying that we need this

survey completed so that we will have these facts complete rather than in a rough state as they are now. 'Of the figures we do have many of them came from the Army engineers at Rock Island through their cooperation, but we need a survey to get the actual facts.

Perhaps the most obvious strong point in favor of something being done about this as soon as possible is the fact that the frequency and intensity of these floods has increased in the last 5- or 6-year period. They have gone from the type of thing that is destructive, in addition to being messy and costing a few people quite a little money, to something that is damaging the entire community perhaps because of the

« PreviousContinue »