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level of rainfall and a very much greater runoff of that watershed due to tree cutting and the like.
In 1937 there were three floods.
Understand, gentlemen, that it is difficult to get exact figures on those floods. We have to go back to the newspapers as to some of them, and trust to memories for some and for others to pictures and some other things. That has not been too well correlated.
Now, this record could be verified and probably corrected in many places by actual Army engineers' figures at Rock Island. They are in a somewhat difficult position in that appropriations to do the job must come from congressional action and other services of the Government down there, and it is difficult for them to complete this because they are even reluctant to give us figures primarily we think, as has been brought out, because of their reluctance to promote their own projects, but we think from the very nature of it, and the opinion of men like Mr. Peil, who is an excellent hydraulic engineer, that this is a very worthy project. However, because of the lack of funds they cannot make this survey.
The other reason is that any flood survey of damage must be done within a year and a half to 2 years in order to be accurate, or in order to be reasonably accurate. The longer an investigation or flood survey is in order to estimate damage we find out that the less accurate it is.
You have a general picture of the locale of this flood area, I presume. One of the maps that is here I think is just a copy, and not a particularly good copy of a map of the State and all of the areas here.
The area involved is this sindicating). There is the Sugar River here, and here is the East Branch of the Pecatonica, and here is the West Branch of the Pecatonica.
As you proceed westerly into the driftless area you will find that the geology of this ground is increasingly rough or hilly as you proceed to the west, so that the river there lies actually at what they call the terminal moraine, which is the line of demarcation between the area that was glaciated, and the unglaciated area.
The geologists tell us that the glaciers as they came down had the effect of coming together and creating the driftless area, so that in western northern Illinois and northern Iowa we have large sharp hillsides, especially as you go west to the river, so that the severity of the floods, which is a matter of runoff of rainfall, is particularly acute where the hillsides are sharpest.
This flood survey report up to this time has been more or less in watching the thing, and they have never gone above Darlington.
They tell me that below Darlington the rate of fall of the river is nine-tenths of a foot per mile, whereas above Darlington it is as much as 40 feet per mile. So that our floods are quite a bit different from those on the Mississippi River. For 2 weeks ahead of time they know a flood is coming and they can prepare for it, they can get their materials out, they can move their livestock and property. The know they are going to have precipitation, mud, debris, and so forth coming down and they can anticipate it, but we cannot. It is similar to what happened on the Kickapoo. Here, for instance, it rained from 7 o'clock in the evening until 11 o'clock, and they recognized at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning that it looked like we were going to have a flood. We try to get things out, but we cannot. It has never happened yet, but some lives are going to be lost in those floods because we have a terrific
runoff, a terrible flood crest flowing through that narrow valley, and it just sweeps everything before it, whereas if there were a slow rise we would have time to prepare for it. These floods are particularly destructive, and if they become greater than some of them in the past there can be a major catastrophe. We have escaped that so far, but we are in immediate peril, as I will show you from some of these pictures that I have here. Here is another map. This is the specific area, gentlemen, that is involved in this West Branch, as I said before it is the only one I can check on, because it is the only one I have been close enough to observe. Even so it involves above Darlington which is in the immediate locality, 277 square miles of drainage.
It is difficult to attempt to forecast in advance how much that water will rise, how fast it will rise, and to know whether to move anything out or whether to get out, because without knowing these conditions we do not know whether we will have a flood of sufficient impact to wash us out.
In 1950, which was the worst flood we ever had, we had 17,000 cubic feet per minute of crest flood at the Darlington Bridge. We had this volume of water going through there over a short period of time.
A typical flood in that region would be about 9,000 cubic feet per minute.
We had one in addition in 1948, we had another one in 1950, and we had two in 1951, but in 1950 that 17,000 cubic feet per minute, which is the worst we ever had, the rainfall of that cloudburst did not center on our area here as shown (indicating], but centered over here [indicating), approximately where my hand lies in Grant County, and they had a flood on the Platte River up here [indicating), a flood of 50,000 cubic feet per minute.
Had that struck an area 10 or 5 miles eastward we would have had 3 times the volume of water that we had through this valley, and there would not have been any city of Darlington or anything else left in that river valley.
That is the thing that worries us, that that can happen, contrary to the thinking of the Army engineers or of the hydraulic experts and what they have said that the chances of that amount of rainfall falling in that area was once in a million years, and that it would not happen. Yet we have had one double anything that they anticipated, and only about 5 miles away there was one 3 times that. Had that moved onto our area it could have been a catastrophe.
I am going to show you these flood pictures. It is merely to give you visual evidence of what a flood looks like in that area.
I am going to have to apologize for one thing, the fact that we have very few pictures, and, in fact, no pictures showing farm damage.
While I could have probably found something that would have indicated the farm damage, I would rather make this point to show you the apathy perhaps toward this whole project that the local people have, they think that nothing will ever be done, that there is no one to help them.
A year ago in October it was quite obvious that there had been a terrific amount of damage to the corn lands there.
There is nothing more sad than a cornfield that has been stripped of its corn by a flood in July or August.
So we took several pictures of some farmland and cornfields showing the flooded cornfields with the junk and mud on them as against a
background on the hillside of a standing crop of corn of a high yield of probably 100 to 125 bushels an acre which was then sold at $1.50 a bushel.
Those corn lands were wiped out as you see them in these pictures.
We went back to the farmer to ask for clearance of these pictures and he said, “Don't you dare to use those pictures; we will sue you if
you do.” I said, “Do you not realiez that if we are ever going to get any help for this farmland up and down this river valley that we are going to have to have publicity so people can see what damage is caused by this river?"
He said, “I do not care about that. I may want to sell my farm next year, or within the next 5 years, and I want to be able to get a fair price for it. I do not want to lower the value of that land.”
So, we are in a difficult spot. It is easy enough for us to show you pictures of urban damage. It is very difficult for us to show you pictures of the agricultural situation because of the antipathy and the antagonism of those people in this respect, and yet we feel, and any of us would so testify, that the indirect damage to our Darlington area caused by the crop damage is much greater than you will see in these pictures.
The farm-income loss affected each and every one of us more than the direct damage. We, in the Lane Lumber Co., suffered a $5,000 loss in 1950. That is the direct loss. As to the indirect loss no one will ever know the loss to our business and the loss to the community caused by this lowered income in the valley which is much greater than these direct losses have been, which by the estimates of Rock Island run over $1,350,000.
We have figures already of the damage to Darlington estimated at over $650,000 in 1950, and there is the rural damage which has not been estimated because we do not have any way to get a complete survey report so that these figures could be accurate.
Here is another picture of Darlington.
Here is the main street of Darlington. These are just pictures in general to show you what the situation is when the floodwater comes around to it.
Mr. Davis. Is this the railroad station in Darlington?
Mr. GRANGE. That is right. Here are gas tanks situated up the river. These were toppled over and caused considerable damage and created a terrific hazard, as I will show you in a subsequent picture.
Here is the junk and piles of debris piled up.
There is a building under water, a garage. You can see the damage it does to parts and machinery.
Here is a home.
Here is another view of the main street. This is a typical flood. This is not 1950 but typical of the type of flood we have there normally.
These [indicating] were taken in January of this year, as opposed to the 1950 flood.
This sindicating] is a theater.
They have a pumping station specifically installed to take care of this so that they can dump that gas out. Here are other gas tanks which present a very serious hazard. Here is the only farm picture I have had for the very reason I told you that we are almost prohibited from exhibiting anything that would show the low value of those farmlands caused by the floods.
Unfortunately, this is the best way of doing this, the best way that I can work this out to show this to you. What I want to show with these is merely the mud, and the only way you can see that is with color.
Here is the mud [indicating), and this shows the aftereffects.
Here is a building which was damaged, and this shows the wreckage. One of these days we may get a repetition of the 1950 volume, and we could lose some lives.
In this one a man and his wife and boy and his helper were trapped up in that loft, among the steel girders from 11 o'clock in the morning until midnight, and when they went to get them out an old woman was hysterical. They had to break out the tin there [indicating] to get them out, and in driving in to get them out one truck went down into a hole where the impact of the flood had undermined the street.
In closing let me say that those floodwaters with the high runoff here are a peculiar problem to this area. They are not of the nature of the Mississippi floods and Missouri floods. We have a particular problem in an area like southwestern Wisconsin. There is no question that there is a method of correcting it by slowing down the runoff.
We do not have the survey work yet completed. We would like to just get that done while the evidence is still available and we have a chance to someday come up with correct measures.
Mr. WITHROW. I wonder if I could just say a word there, Mr. Chairman. I think right in conjunction with this it ought to be pointed out that the Pictonica watershed consists of over 2,300 miles and 800 of those square miles are Illinois, and they have had substantially the same damage there that we have had in Wisconsin. The other is this: I would like to repeat what I said yesterday as to the effort the people there have made to protect themselves. I am informed the dam at Martin Town has been removed. It was necessary to get permission of the public service commission to expend considerable money removing the dam in the hope that it would be helpful in getting rid of some of this water.
That is all
Mr. Davis. Thank you, gentlemen for the information you have given us, and I hope that the time will come in the not too distant future when your problem can be rectified.
Mr. With row. Thank you again.
HON. HAROLD A. PATTEN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF ARIZONA HON. JOHN PHILLIPS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA HON. JOHN J. RHODES, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ARIZONA R. H. McELHANEY, PRESIDENT, MOHAWK VALLEY IRRIGATION
AND DRAINAGE DISTRICT JOHN C. SMITH, JR., PRESIDENT, IMPERIAL IRRIGATION DISTRICT ROBERT MCCARTY, REPRESENTING EVANS T. HEWES, PRESI
DENT, IMPERIAL IRRIGATION DISTRICT
Mr. HAND. The first item on the agenda this morning is the Gila River project. Our first witness will be Mr. R. H. McElhaney. Will you please come up to the table with your group, Mr. McElhaney, and present your statement.
Mr. McELHANEY. For the record, my name is R. H. McElhaney and I am president of the Mohawk Valley Irrigation and Drainage District. This is a joint statement of Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District, Yuma County Water Users Association, Unit B. Irrigation and Draining District, North Gila Valley Irrigation District, Yuma Irrigation District, all located in Arizona; city of Yuma, Ariz., and Imperial Irrigation District located in California, in support of the $160,000 appropriation for planning by the Corps of Engineers on Painted Rock Dam located on the Gila River.
The following statement is joined in by the irrigation districts and political subdivisions of the States of Arizona and California, as follows:
The Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District is represented before the committee by Mr. R. H. McElhaney, its president. The district is located on the Gila River approximately 40 miles east of the city of Yuma, Ariz. It is a reclamation project currently being constructed at an estimated cost of $12 million and contains 75,000 irrigable acres.
The Yuma County Water Users Association is represented before the committee by Mr. John C. Smith, Jr., its president. That as
. sociation embraces the Yuma project, which is one of the oldest reclamation projects on the Colorado River and contains approximately 50,000 irrigable acres in the Yuma Valley directly west and south of the city of Yuma. A part of this same project is located in the State of California and covers about 15,000 acres of Indian land and privately owned lands. That area is directly north of the city of Yuma, Ariz.
The Imperial Irrigation District is represented before the committee by Mr. Evan T. Hewes, its president. Mr. Hewes was unavoidably detained and he is represented by Mr. Robert McCarty of the law firm of Northcut Ely. "The Imperial Irrigation District at