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MISSISSIPPI RIVER LEVEES Now we come to the Mississippi River levees, which is item (a), "Main stem.” The amount appropriated for that was $853,000. That we feel is totally inadequate. At the end of this fiscal year there will be 291 miles of main-stem levees still deficient as to grade and section. The sum recommended will build up to approved grade and section only 12 miles of levee so that if that same rate of progress is continued it would take 24 more years to complete the main-stem levees.
We recommend that this item be increased to $3 million. On the same basis that would complete approximately 41 miles of levee, and at that rate it would only take 5 years to complete these main-stem levees.
BANK STABILIZATION Now in bank stabilization, item (a) of the second item, the amount recommended for this work is $18,775,000. This will permit completion of about 20 miles of revetment. We should have enough money to do 30 miles of revet ment work, but if the 20 miles are completed it will go a long way toward keeping the bank stabilized and the river channel open. We are not recommending any increase in this item, but I would like to point out that last year, 1953, over 158 million tons of freight were transported on the lower Mississippi and the intercoastal canal.
Now that kind of freight is steel, chemicals, oils, coal, basic commodlities, and at the same time that they are taking those upstream they are bringing back grain and other materials from the Middle West to the point that New Orleans is now the No. 1 export point for flour and things of that sort from the United States.
I have here, Senator, Nation's Business for March, which shows a tow on the river, and I would like to call the committee's attention to page 35 of that in which there is a very interesting article on the river. In there it shows the barges, and it says, An ordinary tow-the Jordan River Line's Cherrystone, for instance, pushing 9,000 tons of petroleum products from Houston to Pittsburgh-does a job that would require 830 tank cars of 8,300 gallon capacity, or 1,300 tank trucks of about 5.000 gallons' capacity.
A coal barge can handle from 1,000 to 3,000 tons-20 to 60 rail carloads--and will constituie part of a tow of as many as 16 barges.
In other words, the waterways are carrying the heavy material; they are the workhorse of our commerce system, and it is very important that they be kept open and that is why this bank stabilization work is so important.
Now before I take up the specific items and call these items, Mr. Chairman, we have Mr. Everett T. Winter, who is the executive vice president of the Mississippi Valley Association, and he desires to present a statement which deals with the overall picture of the Mississippi Valley, and I take it from what I was told that this was a statement that was adopted at the meeting at St. Louis last month. May I present Mr. Winter.
STATEMENT OF EVERETT T. WINTER, EXECUTIVE VICE
PRESIDENT, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY ASSOCIATION
Mr. WINTER. Mr. Chairman, my name is Everett T. Winter, and I am executive vice president of Mississippi Valley Association, a voluntary organization of business, industrial and agricultural interests, covering the 23 mid-continent States of the United States.
At the 35th annual convention of our association held in St. Louis February 8 and 9, the following resolution was passed unanimously by the water resources and flood control committee, by the resolutions committee, and then by the more than 1,000 delegates present. I quote the resolution verbatim:
There is grave concern that the Bureau of the Budget, in its recommendations for flood-control expenditures on the lower Mississippi River and tributaries for the fiscal year 1955, has committed itself of a policy of too little, too late.
Under the Flood Control Act of May 15, 1928, and subsequent amendments, Congress has authorized flood-control works to protect the lower llississippi River Basin from the disheartening and tragic consequences of flood damase. Although the program is 21 years old, the main-line levers are only 77 peritat complete on a monetary basis and bank stabilization is only 63 percent complete. The figure recommended by the Bureau of the Budget for the main line levering on the lower Mississippi River, extending from Cape Girardeau, Mo., to the cuil. is the insignificant figure of $8.73,030. At the proposed rate of expenditure for the coming year, it would take 30 years or more to complete the main-line lt vee system, a system which was devised and intended to be completed within 25 years from 1928.
Bank stabilization on the main stem, and flood-control improvements of the main stem and on tributaries, have been curtailed and hurt for 10 years due to wartime crises in the Second World War and the second time due to emergency conditions.
It is evident that the continued reduction in funds appropriated for and prin posed to be appropriated for flood control on the lower Mississippi river and its tributaries, constitutes a course hazardous to the welfare of the lower Jiississ,} fue Valley, which comprises 1,250,000 square miles of land, and which acts as ibe outlet for 41 percent of the runoff from the watersheds from the entire Xaton.
In view of the alarm felt by responsible agencies and the citizens of the lower Mississippi River area, it is recommended that the administration, the Bureau of the Budget, and Congress, give immediate attention to preiding adequate funds annually for the completion of authorized flood control works on the lower Mississippi River and its tributaries.
That completes my statement, Mr. Chairman.
TENSAS River Basis STATEMENT OF ROY T. SESSUMS, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF
PUBLIC WORKS FOR THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
Mr. BERBLING. The next item I wish to call the committee's attention to are those items in the State of Louisiana-that is, the Terms River Basin, the Atcha falava River Basin. The amount recommended by the budget was $1,727,000 for the Tensas River Basin. Our reommendation is that that be increased to $1,900,000.
On the Atcha falaya River Basin the amount recommended by the budget was $3,175,000, and we recommend that that be increased to $6,500,000. At this time I would like to call on Mr. Roy Sessums, who is the Director of Public Works of the State of Louisiana and who will make a statement on that subject.
Mr. SESSUMS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I would like to file this statement for the record.
Senator DWORSHAK. That will be done.
(The statement referred to follows:) BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF ADEQUATE APPROPRIATIONS TO CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UNITED
STATES ARMY, FOR FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT, LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY, BY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, STATE OF LOUISIANA, Roy T. SESSUMS, DIRECTOR
The Louisiana Department of Public Works is the State agency concerned with the protection of the State from floods. To discharge this responsibility we serve as liaison between the State government and the Congress, as well as the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, and other Federal agencies engaged in similar work. In our State government we are the consulting engineers for, and supervise the construction of, all flood-control, navigation, and water resources development projects, and furnish engineering services to the levee boards and police juries of the State. The department of public works is the planning agency of the State government, and is charged with the duty of formulating and furthering a statewide plan for the judicious development of the State.
We therefore come before your committee on behalf of the State of Louisiana, to present testimony in support of adequate appropriations to the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, for the Mississippi River and tributaries project.
The avowed policy of this administration is the encouragement of private enterprise. What better way is there to encourage free enterprise than to insure the development and use by local interests of the rich and fertile valleys of the Mississippi River and its tributaries?
CONTRIBUTION OF LOCAL INTERESTS
The flood-control program necessary to accomplish this purpose is beyond the financial scope and responsibility of the affected States. They now make a substantial contribution to this program through Federal and State taxes and the exploitation of their natural resources. These States have made in the past, and are still making, a mighty effort in their own behalf. In Louisiana, since 1881, the department of public works and the 22 levee boards of the State have spent $204,798,000 for this purpose. Adjusted to present prices according to the Engineering News-Record cost index, this amounts to $647,320,000. In 1953 these agencies spent $6,227,000. From January 1, 1944, to January 1, 1954, there have been excavated under the statewide drainage program 138,910,600 cubic yards at a cost of $19,421,000, and $1,657,100 has been expended for the necessary bridges and culverts, making a total of $21,078,100. Altogether, since 1882, at present prices, the State has expended $668,398,600 for flood control and drainage.
FLOOD-CONTROL PLAN, MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES The best testimony we can offer in behalf of adequate funds for flood control in the lower Mississippi River Valley is to picture this valley to you without a floodcontrol plan.
From Cairo south to the gulf, our country would be divided by a great river, impossible to bridge, difficult to ferry. Each spring this great river would flood its valley, making it a fertile but useless region. The river would continue its ceaseless meandering, carving great bends only to later cut them off, thereby destroying even more land along its banks. Bridges for highways and railroads, and pipelines for oil and gas could not be constructed because of this meandering. The bridge at Memphis in 1892 was the first bridge built across the Mississippi River, south of Cairo. Navigation would be a most uncertain business with the ever-changing size, depth, and number of channels. This country could not, nor did it develop, thus divided by this uncontrolled river.
In order to provide for the most beneficial use and fullest development of the Mississippi River Valley and the control of the river, all of the tools of the flood-control engineer must be used. There are levees, reservoirs, bank stabilization, dredging, and floodways, all necessary and component parts of the floodcontrol plan. The master plan is made up of many smaller plans, each of which has a definite effect on the mighty river which we seek to control. Realizing this, we want to make it clear that we are offering our testimony in full support to the flood-control plan as a whole, without any special emphasis on any phase of it.
CAPTURE OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BY THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER
As we have pictured the Mississippi Valley without flood control, so would be the Atchafalaya Basin if the Atchafalaya River were allowed to capture the Mississippi River. This basin would be for many years an impassable barrier to commerce, bordered by a water-filled wasteland. The Atchafalaya Basin would return again to the days of 1928 and the flood-control plan begun anew as on the Mississippi.
Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and adjacent areas would be deprived of river commerce, and cut off from the West by the new and mighty Atchafalaya. The abundant supply of fresh water would be gone and with it industry, too, would have departed.
The capture of the Mississippi River by the Atchafalaya would provide a much shorter route to the gulf, thereby lowering the stage at Old River. Consequently, velocities in the Mississippi River would greatly increase to above Vicksburg, and on the Red River to above Alexandria. Existing bank protection would be wrecked, and navigation would be most hazardous.
The Misssissippi River and its tributaries would be without an outlet to the sea. There would be no deepwater channel from the river into the gulf nor the terminal and docking facilities that now exist.
Such a diversion of the Mississippi River would be a disaster for the local area, a serious setback to the development of the Mississippi Valley and an economic blow to the Nation.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER LEVEES
The civilization and culture that has grown up along the Mississippi River Valley would not have been possible except for the construction of levees. The geography of the valley decrees that levees be called upon for its principal flood protection. These levees are not complete, the valley is not fully developed, and cannot be until the confidence instilled by a completed levee system inspires its people to do so.
The south bank Arkansas River levee and the west bank Mississippi River levee, south to Old River, protect 3,500,000 acres of land in Louisiana. The Mansurs Hills to Hamburg levee, the west Atchafalaya Basin protection levee and the south bank Red River levee, protect another 900,000 acres. Within the protection of the west bank Mississippi River levee, from Old River to the Head of the Passes, and the Morganza spillway protection levee, there are 3,500,000 acres.
On the east bank, the Mississippi River Levee protects 1,000,000 acres. This makes a total of 8,900,000 acres of land in Louisiana dependent upon Mississippi River levees for security from floods. The city of New Orleans, as well as other important cities, lies within this area. Moreover, all of the main line highways, railroads, numerous industries, and vast areas of fertile agricultural lands are equally dependent upon this protection.
In order to afford the protection for which they were intended, we respectfully urge to the committee that these levees must be brought up to grade and see tion. There are 1,599 miles of levees on the Mississippi River and as of June 30, 1954, there will have been 1,308 miles constructed to grade and section. With funds now approved for the fiscal year 1955, 12 more miles of levee can be completed. The cost of bringing the remaining levees up to grade and section would be a pittance in comparison either with the investment already made in the leree system, or in the cost of disaster which might result from their inadequacy.
Approximately $58,000,000 would be required to finish this job and at the present budget figure of $853,000, it would require over 60 years to complete the levee system. We submit that for substantial progress to be made, the figure must be increased to $3,000,000.
As it is necessary to have levees for the flood protection of the valley, it is equally necessary to have bank stabilization to preserve the integrity of these levee lines. In the presently authorized and contemplated program, there are 450.5 miles of revetment, of which 292 are complete. It is planned to construct 22 miles during the fiscal year 1955.
Levees are now so great in size that 2 years are required for their construction and more than that when time must be allowed for foundation compaction between lifts.
The failure of the Federal Government to provide funds for an adequate bankprotection program could cause the loss of levee lines in two ways. The river, if not controlled, could easily cave a levee into the stream, thereby flooding not only the lands and improvements protected by that levee, but also the entire levee line.
Levee grades are designed for the 160-mile shorter river made possible by the cutoffs. If the river is allowed to become longer, stages will be raised in the upper river and levees crevassed by overtopping. The value of the lands and improvements which would be destroyed by caving banks in these days of changing value is difficult to ascertain, but it is certainly enormous. It is also certain that the valley cannot be fully developed until there is a sense of security generated by freedom from floods and a stabilized river.
Navigable depths cannot be maintained on the Mississippi River unless the river is held in its present alinement. Navigation is essential to the welfare of the Nation as well as to the economic health and development of the Mississippi Valley. Its importance is emphasized by the fact that navigation has increased on the Mississippi River from Cairo to Baton Rouge, from 22,000,000 tons in 1951, to 23,500,000 tons in 1952, and from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, from 28,000,000 tons in 1951, to 33,100,000 tons in 1952. Such increasing commerce justifies and requires adequate appropriations for bank stabilization.
Great progress has been made on the bank-stabilization program but at the present tiine progress is very slow. Funds have not been available to seize and hold the river when it had reached a favorable alinement. Instead, revetments have been placed, as the money became aavilable, on river alinements which were expensive to control. Often, existing work was destroyed because funds were not available to place the required upstream revtements. All of this has resulted in the river getting ahead of the engineers and has increased the total cost of completion of the stabilization of the river channel. To put the engineers even with the river, would require an appropriation of $30 to $35 million a year, for 3 years, when the present rate of appropriation could be resumed.
In the interest of a reduction of the national budget at this time, the Department of Public Works will defend the present budget figure of $18,775,000. It remains our opinion, however, that the limited appropriation for the bankstabilization program is not economical in the long run.
BOEUF, TENSAS, LA FOURCHE
The area drained by these thmree rivers includes 5 million acres in 11 parishes in Louisiana, and 6 counties in Arkansas. While substantial progress has been made, there is urgent need for the early completion of this project.
Since 1944 the State of Louisiana has been prosecuting a statewide drainage program. Under this program, in the area in question, there have been 33,260,900 cubic yards excavated at a cost of $4,665,200 for excavation and $466,512 for bridges and culverts.
These channels, financed by local interests, will not function properly until an adequate outlet is provided by the Federal project. The land in Arkansas will suffer a similar handicap. We have done our share in this program and integrated our efforts with the authorized project to afford the area a maximum of relief. In order to take advantage of present low prices of drainage excavation and to extend the channel to connect with the work completed on Big Bayou, we request that the budget figure of $1,727,000 be increased to $1,900,000.
RED RIVER BACKWATER
The appropriation approved by the Bureau of the Budget for the fiscal year 1954 will complete the Red River backwater project. There are 370,000 acres in the protected area. Already a rapid development is taking place by the clearing,