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We have submitted here in previous years some pictures. We have about nine sets of these. I think that Mr. Bousquet will make those available to you.
In our particular project, we will have to rebuild, reconstruct, 4 or 5 new bridges, which will cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000, not to speak of other things—access roads, the water, power; waterlines, domestic sewers, storm sewers; likewise, all parts of that local cost. I want to thank
your attention. Senator CORDON. Thank you, Mr. Dilk.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Mr. Chairman, the next witness will be Mr. Robert H. Harp, who is city manager of North Adams.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT H. HARP, CITY MANAGER,
NORTH ADAMS, MASS.
Senator CORDON. We will be glad to hear from you, Mr. Harp.
Mr. HARP. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I will try to make myself as brief as possible. First of all, I want to thank you for your past consideration of our community and I want you to know that we are a grateful people for the work that has been done in the city of North Adams.
As you know, our city has been hit with 5 floods within the last 25 years. These five floods have brought home the necessity for continuing flood-control projects. I have a map which I left with your clerk, of our community. This map was made after the 1946° flood and brings home rather forcefully what happens in our city of North Adams.
This is the south branch [indicating] which comes from the town of Adams. This is the north branch that comes from southern Vermont.
This north branch has a 100-foot break from the Eclipse Dam at this point (indicating), to the confluence of the 2 branches.
Senator CORDON. How far?
This branch is the one we are extremely concerned about, because it is not the normal type of a meandering river. It is a violent river.
Past floods we have had have demolished 13 homes. Many industrial buildings have been damaged and many buildings have been weakened.
In one case, one of the plants, the entire side wall collapsed as a result of this flood.
Senator CORDON. How long since you have had a major flood!
Mr. HARP. The last major flood, Senator, was in 1950. That was the last one that hit, and that followed the first appropriation that Congress had approved for this program; $10,000 of that initial appropriation was used to drive steel sheeting to protect the installation of the North Berkshire Gas Co., at the confluence of these rivers, Their main power station is located at that point.
Now, I have left these maps with you, and I think they illustrate that our city is hemmed in between the two branches of the river and we are vitally affected by this.
We are a community of working people and it is the type of project that we are not able to manage with our own resources, and we certainly hope that despite the omission that was made by the Bureau of the Budget, that we will receive consideration from your committee.
I will also present to your committee a picture which shows the location of the proposed work that the Army engineers propose.
This is the confluence of the rivers [indicating). This shows the Sprague Electric Co. plant located right at that, the confluence, and the North Berkshire Gas Co. is right over in this corner. That is their main power station that provides energy not only for Adams, but for North Adams and Williamstown, and this proposed work would be carried up the north branch to this point (indicating). That is indicated on this picture.
We come to you, as I have said, as a people that are grateful to you for your past consideration of our needs and we do hope that we will be given some consideration from
honorable committee. Thank you, very, very much. Senator CORDON. Thank you very much.
Now, may I inquire of the Corps of Engineers as to whether, were you to continue your efforts at Adams, which is upstream from North Adams, and by confining the floodwaters, which it is clear that you are not doing, because you are not flowing them into any sump, or giving them any other outlet, but by confining your floodwaters would you not as a result increase the hazards at Adams or North Adams?
General CHORPENING. No, sir. These two projects are separate and there will be no effect one upon the other as a result of the work that we do there. At least, it will be negligible in any event.
Senator CORDON. I do not understand that. The water is coming downstream and if there is more water than the stream can carry, when it gets in that shape it floods out on each side of the banks, we will say, in the vicinity of Adams. Then to the extent that it is flooding out on each side, certainly it will be doing more damage. Now, if up at Adams you confine it to the banks, it looks to me like you will be getting more water at North Adams than you otherwise would have had.
General CHORPENING. That might be true to a negligible amount, but after all, all of the water still has to go down that same stream.
Senator CORDON. But not quite as rapidly.
Now, you think that that will not appreciably increase the flood at North Adams.
General CHORPENING. That is correct.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do not think that Mr. Harp asked permission of the chairman to put his statement in the record.
Mr. HARP. I am sorry if I did not. But I hope that I have that permission.
Senator CORDON. Without objection, Mr. Harp will be permitted to put his prepared statement in the record.
Senator SALTON STALL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to present to the committee the other local witnesses and ask permission, if they have anything to add, to make a short statement.
At this point in the record we will insert a prepared statement by Mr. James M. Lilly, mayor, and Mr. Robert H. Harp, city manager, city of North Adams, Mass.
(The statements referred to follow :)
STATEMENT OF JAMES M. LILLY, MAYOR, AND ROBERT H. HARP, CITY MANAGER,
CITY OF NORTH ADAMS, Mass. The city of North Adams appears before this committee today to request additional funds for the Hoosic River flood-control project, which has been suspended for the past 2 years. We submit that the continuation of this project is vital to the business, industrial, and residential life of our city. We come to you as representatives of a city of working people who cannot possibly manage to engage the necessary engineering talent nor pay the construction costs for the flood-control work that has been started and needs to be completed. Much has been said in previous years concerning the North Adams project, but we would like to review some of the background of this program.
North Adams suffered 4 disastrous floods in the years 1927, 1936, 1938, and 1948, with losses in excess of $6 million. Following the 1948 flood disaster, Congress appropriated moneys in 1950 to start the Hoosic River Basin flood-control project. Before the work got under way, however, another damaging flood struck the city in November of 1950. These 5 floods in 23 years brought home the necessity for a continuing flood-control project that would provide the 22,000 citizens of our city with adequate protection from a frequently rampant Hoosic River, and particularly the north branch of this river.
We are presenting herewith a map, as exhibit A, which illustrates the effect of a typical flood on our city. This map was prepared after the 1948 flood and indicates the areas adjacent to the river channels, which are inundated each time the river overflows its banks. The inundated areas are indicated by the light blue color, industrial buildings in maroon, and public buildings in yellow. You will notice that all of our industries and most of our business areas are within the flood areas. It will also interest your committee to know that 450 homes must be evacuated during flood disasters.
The total Federal appropriations through fiscal year 1952 were $1,183,000, which is also the total amount appropriated to date. This money has provided for channel excavation and the construction of a drop structure and stilling basin, plus necessary bridge abutments and the concrete chute or flume. The United States Corps of Engineers had hoped that this money would advance the work to a point beyond the confluence of the north and south branches of the river. (See exhibit B.) However, emergency work following the 1950 flood and overruns in the construction costs have caused the planned work to be suspended at a point in the junction reach of the river. While the project has been carried to a point where its suspension is physically possible without normal danger or loss to the work already completely, the excellent beginning to this flood project could be threatened and seriously damaged by another flood disaster.
The completed work has probably served our city well, but it is apparent that North Adams will not receive adequate flood protection, unless the project is continued along the north and south branches of the river, and especially the north branch. Mr. Charles D. Curran, senior specialist in engineering and public works for the Library of Congress, had this to say about the North Adams project and I quote : "In a project of this nature, the benefits to be realized are generally small, until the full project is completed.” Our industrial and business areas are crowded into the bottom of a small cuplike valley. The north branch of the Hoosic River, which has its origin in southern Vermont, comes downmountain with an irresistible and presently uncontained force, which destroys all before it. The damage from this branch of the river is more than water damage; it is a destructive force that will destroy and damage property and public utilities, including streets, water lines, sewers, and other utility installations. In 1927, 13 dwellings were completely destroyed by the path of this rampant north branch. In the subsequent floods, many additional commercial and residential properties collapsed under the force of this north branch. On the other hand, the south branch meanders down the valley from Hoosic Lake through Adams and North Adams to the main branch of the Hoosic River. In flood times, a substantial portion of our residential area and nearly all of our business area are inundated by this water. The south branch, however, does not have a destructive force guiding it through our city or any other community and damage is restricted to normal water inundation damage. We submit that the continuation of the flood-control project along the violent north branch of the river is the most vital and important segment of the Hoosic River floodcontrol projects.
Two of our main industries are located at the confluence of the two branches of the Hoosic River, namely, the Northern Berkshire Electric & Gas Co. and the Sprague Electric Co. (see exhibits A and B). The Electric & Gas Co. naturally supplies North Adams and vicinity with its vital electric and gas supply, while the Sprague Electric Co. is our largest employer and a leader in the manufacture of capacitors and other electronic equipment. Both of these industries are essential elements to the economic fiber of our city and we want them to grow and prosper along with our city. A continuation of the flood-control program in our city is necessary for the adequate protection of these industries.
In justifying any public-improvement program, including flood-control projects, it is necessary to determine the benefits of each project in relation to the costs. I am informed that recent estimates the ratio of bei fits to costs, prepared by the Corps of Engineers, is greater than $1.24. In other words, for every dollar spent on the North Adams project, benefits will accrue to our city in an amount greater than $1.24. It is our considered opinion that a project of this type will return dividends to our city, our State, and our Nation. These dividends will be returned in the form of a better city of North Adams-a city that could be freed of the constant threat of a flood disaster and a possible blow that could halt our progress, forever.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city of North Adams have given your agencies assurances of local cooperation in this project. We stand ready to assume the local costs of this project, including replacement of existing bridges, alteration and reconstruction of city streets and utility lines, furnishing necessary rights, easements, and interests in adjacent lands, and any other items in this category. We cannot, however, begin to do the job that is needed without your assistance.
Through the years, many temporary or stopgap measures have been applied by the Corps of Engineers, the State, and the city to provide protection against the floodwaters. It is estimated that more than $2 million has been expended for these measures in the last 25 years. In 1927, North Adams built a $45,000 wall to protect one of our city streets and the residents on this street-11 years later, in the flood of 1938, this investment was lost to a raging and violent north branch of the river. The last example of an emergency measure occurred in 1950 when the United States Corps of Engineers stepped in and hired a contractor to drive 600 feet of steel sheeting as a temporary protective measure for the main station of the Northern Berslire Electric Co. The cost of this work, about $40,000, was paid for from the 1950 appropriation and is one of the reasons that the second usable unit of this project was not completed. It appears reasonable that a continuous flood-control project would provide our city with the needed protection and also eliminate expensive temporary measures.
We would conclude our plea with the words of Mr. Curran, “the benefits to be realized from a project of this nature are generally small, until the full project is completed." We, therefore, urge this committee to reconsider the submitted President's budget for the next fiscal year, and include an appropriation for the restoration of work on the destructive north branch of the Hoosic River in North Adams, Mass.
STATEMENT OF JAMES M. LILLY, MAYOR, NORTH ADAMS, MASS.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Mr. Chairman, I present at this time Mayor James M. Lilly.
Mr. LILLY. Mr. Chairman, I do not want to take the time of the committee, but I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and the rest of your Senate committee here, in the interest of and 'in behalf of the citizens of North Adams, my home town. We will be glad to answer any questions that the committee should like to ask.
Senator CORDON. I believe the committee is familiar with the situation. We appreciate your statement.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Mr. Chairman, if the Chair will permit, I would like for you to hear Mr. Clayton L. Couture, the chairman of the Board of Selectmen, of Adams. STATEMENT OF CLAYTON L. COUTURE, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF
SELECTMEN, ADAMS, MASS. Mr. COUTURE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we want to thank you for what has been done in the past and we hope in the future.
Senator CORDON. Thank you.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Mr. Chairman, that is our case. preciate your courtesy, and the courtesy of the committee.
Mr. CORDON. Thank you.
GUADALUPE RIVER, Tex.
STATEMENT OF HON. LYNDON B. JOHNSON, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Senator CORDON. Now, the next matter and project is Guadalupe River, Tex.
We will hear Senator Johnson on that, who has a broadcast engagement. So, we will hear him at this time in order to conserve his time, and permit him to keep his engagement.
Senator Johnson. Mr. Chairman, I am not going to speak in detail about this project. I want to bring some highlights relating to it to the attention of this committee. I know that you will approach it with sympathy and understanding.
We have some distinguished citizens present. We have Senator Daniel and Congressman Thompson. Mr. Richard Furman is here representing the Victoria County Navigation Commission.
The project is a sea level canal from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterways to and including a turning basin 5.5 miles below Victoria.
The estimated cost is $10,970,000, including $4,480,000 to be expended by local interests.
Senator CORDON. Is that above or below Victoria?
That has been a very unfortunate area, because the distinguished chairman of this committee saw fit to leave that section of Texas and go out into the Northwest. I am sure if he had kept his residence down at Cuero, this project would have already been built, because I know the merits of it would appeal to him; and I am not so sure that they will not, even though he has moved to Oregon.
Senator CORDON. The chairman seems to have asked for that. Go ahead, Senator.
Senator JOHNSON. The status of the project is that it was authorized by Congress; planning is complete, and initiation of construction is dependent upon appropriations by Congress. No funds are requested in the pending budget.