Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. Nicholas. It involves terrific pipelines. They have considered it prohibitive.

Senator ROBERTSON. I notice he said that this San Antonio Creek has a fall of 800 feet to the mile. I tried to fish in a river in Wisconsin once.

It had a fall of 400 feet to the mile. I was afraid to get out beyond my knees because my knees are high above the water. I would rather hate to wade a stream of that size.

Mr. GRIFFITH. Our next witness will be Mr. John Bryant, county engineer, Riverside County.

RIVERSIDE LEVEES, BAUTISTA AND SAN JACINTO LEVEES

STATEMENT OF JOHN BRYANT, COUNTY ENGINEER, RIVERSIDE

COUNTY, CALIF.

PREPARED STATEMENT

Senator KNOWLAND. Mr. Bryant, your statement may also be printed in full in the record.

(The statement referred to follows:)

STATEMENT OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE RIVERSIDE COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL

AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT REGARDING FLOOD CONTROL PROJECTS ALONG THE Santa Ana RIVER, ITS TRIBUTARIES, AND WHITEWATER RIVER, CALIF.

Pursuant to the act of Congress, Public, No. 406, 75th Congress, approved August 28, 1937, the United States Corps of Engineers completed a flood-control survey report of the Santa Ana River and tributaries, Calif., dated November 1, 1946. Sixteen years have now elapsed since Congress first requested an investigation on the Santa Ana River and its tributaries. During the time the report was under preparation, serious flood damage and loss of life occurred. The people of Riverside County realize that flood-control projects by the Federal Government had to be curtailed during the war years. However, they have experienced the ravages of destructive floods and know what may happen here at any time if adequate flood protection is not provided for the area. Since 1946, a total of $1,254,336 has been spent by the people of this county in tlood protection on the Santa Ana and Whitewater Rivers in Riverside County.

The Santa Ana River waters at Riverside, collected from an 800 square mile drainage area, flow on an average slope of 22 feet per mile, and the width of the low flow channel ranges from about 300 to 700 feet. On the left side of the river there are low banks 3 to 4 feet in height which could be overtopped by a medium or large flood which in turn would inundate approximately 1,500 acres of land in the north section of the city of Riverside. Numerous attempts have been made in the past to prevent this overflow by the construction of rail and wire fence revetments which in each case were subsequently destroyed. More recently, since the 1938 flood, the area was partially protected by an earth levee revetted with granite riprap. This levee was built by the county of Riverside with State financial assistance at a total cost of $120,000. The levee is approximately 15 feet above stream bed surface, has a 20-foot crown width and 112 to 1 side slopes. The river side of the levee is protected by granite rock riprap placed in an amount of 6 tons per lineal foot and extending 10 feet below the level of the streambed for protection against scour. The total length of levee constructed is 6,000 feet. This levee provides partial protection against most floods for about 500 acres on the left side of the river, and the plan of improvement proposed by the district engineer would extend this levee downstream to the Rubidoux Bridge, a distance of 14,000 feet. Along the right side of the river, the low banks would be overtopped by a medium or large flood which would overflow most of the community of West Riverside. Nearly 1,800 acres of land on the right side of the river are subject to inundation. On this side of the river, many attempts have been made by local interests in the past to construct floodcontrol works which have also been destroyed during major floods. After the 1938 flood, the county of Riverside with financial assistance from the State of California, constructed a levee which affords partial protection to the community of West Riverside and which directs the flow of smaller floods into the channel under the Rubidoux Bridge. However, a medium or large flood would probably breach the levees and overflow most of West Riverside and might destroy the bridge. The plan of the district engineer is to utilize a portion of the existing levee by adding to the rock riprap now in place and in addition extending the Rubidoux Bridge 750 feet westward and constructing a levee to high ground 5,550 feet upstream from the bridge and continuing the levee downstream, a distance of 5,000 feet from the bridge.

The Riverside levee project would protect a total area of approximately 3,900 acres, having a property value of approximately $16,360,000. The damage during the 1938 flood in this area alone was estimated at $604,000 and an estimated loss of life of 15 people by drowning in or near West Riverside. The estimated property value of this flooded area in 1940 was $3,272,000. The present valuation is estimated at $16,360,000, an increase of 400 percent. Estimated property damages occurring now from a flood similar to that of 1938 would be $3,020,000, an increase of $2,416,000. The 1940 population of this flooded area was 5,065, and today it is 11,884, an increase of 114 percent. We could expect a loss of life of 32. However, due to the crowded conditions of this area, the loss of life would probably be in a much higher ratio.

The tributaries Bautista Creek and the San Jacinto River, near the towns of Hemet and San Jacinto, have an average gradient of 80 to 30 feet per mile respectively. The channels are unstable and poorly defined. Local interests have since 1908 attempted to provide flood protection. Levees have been protected against erosion by wire, rail, and brush revetments for over a distance of 11 miles. Those levees are relatively low and would be breached by a medium or large flood.

The recommended plan proposed one levee 15,580 feet downstream along the left bank of Bautista Creek from the canyon mouth to State Highway 74, and a second levee would extend downstream 2,100 feet along the right bank of Bautista Creek from a hill near Valle Vista to State Highway 74. The levee along the left side of the San Jacinto River would extend downstream 20,750 feet from a point near the mouth of Bautista Creek.

The improvements would protect Valle Vista, Hemet, San Jacinto, and valuable agricultural lands covering an area of 13,000 acres and property valued at $11 million.

Riverside County has experienced the same accelerated growth in population and increased property values which are typical to other communities in southern California. Since the major flood in 1938 until the date of the district engineer's report, there was an increase of over 50 percent in population, and as of 1948, the population increased 100 percent over and above that which existed during the 1938 flood. All indications show signs of continued growth, and this growth and the welfare of the entire area is dependent on adequate control of the flood waters of the Santa Ana River. It is imperative that this flood control work be accomplished at the earliest possible moment.

When Congress requested the investigation of flood control along the Santa Ana River in 1937, the board of supervisors of Riverside County by resolution gave all assurances that the county would sponsor a flood-control project and do whatever necessary and required of local interests. This board of supervisors wishes to now reaffirm and reassure the Federal Government that the proposed plans meet with their approval and that the county still stands ready to undertake its requirements.

In August 1937, Congress authorized a preliminary examination and survey of the Whitewater River. The preliminary report was submitted in March 1939 by the United States Corps of Engineers and the survey was authorized by the Chief of Engineers on May 23, 1939. A total of $160,600 has been spent by the United States Corps of Engineers in preparation of a survey report on this river. The report has not been completed and no additional money has been spent to this end in recent years. The United States Corps of Engineers estimate that an additional amcunt of $59,600 is needed to complete this survey report.

The Whitewater River watershed encompasses one of the fastest growing areas in southern California. Such towns as Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, and Indio are located in the watershed. The future economy of these towns, together with many resorts in the area, is to a large degree dependent upon adequate food protection.

In the past 7 years, the people have done much to protect themselves from foods, and at this time are planning additional flood-control measures. No doubt, a large portion of the time spent in planning economic surveys is a direct duplication of similar studies performed by the United States Corps of Engineers.

The board of supervisors of the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District requests and urges the committee and Congress to appropriate moneys in the amount of $200,000 for the purpose of revising and bringing up to date economic studies and cost estimates on the Santa Ana River project. Further, that sufficient money be allotted to the Chief of the United States Corps of Engineers to complete the Whitewater River survey report.

WILLIAM E. JONES, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

GENERAL STATEMENT

Mr. Bryant. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With your permission I would like to extend on that statement briefly.

In 1937, Congress authorized the Corps of Engineers to make a survey and report on the Santa Ana River and its tributaries. They completed that report in 1946 and in it they recommended the construction of four projects, two of which are located in Riverside County.

These two projects are the Santa Ana River levees near Riverside and the San Jacinta-Bautista Creek levees on one of the tributaries on the river.

Inasmuch as both of these projects are very similar in their general types of control and features, I would like to have permission to put up a map of the Santa Ana River project near Riverside, and briefly discuss it.

Gentlemen, this is an aerial photograph taken in 1946 of the Santa Ana River, at Riverside. First I might say that the flow of the river is from the right-hand side of the map to the left-hand side. The blue area that is colored here is the area that was flooded by the 1938 flood.

Now, this flood had a discharge of 100,000 second-feet of water. According to the Corps of Engineers' report, this section of the river at this point is capable of carrying about 20,000 second-feet. In other words, anything over 20,000 second-feet is going to inundate and do damage to this land.

Hydrologists have stated that the flood of 1938 had a frequency of once in 50 years. In other words, it is anything but a maximum flood. We can expect much worse floods.

After the flood of 1938, the people of Riverside County, with some State assistance, built two levees, indicated by the two solid yellow lines. We recognize, as do the Corps of Engineers, that these levees are entirely inadequate, and their program proposes the reinforcement of the two existing levees plus the extension of the levees as shown in the dotted yellow lines.

LAND EVALUATION

Now, in 1938, when this area was flooded, the inundated area had a population of approximately 5,000 people. Today it has a population of around 12,000 people. The evaluation of the land of the

[blocks in formation]

California, constructed a levee which affords partial protection to the community of West Riverside and which directs the flow of smaller floods into the channel under the Rubidoux Bridge. However, a medium or large flood would probably breach the levees and overflow most of West Riverside and might destroy the bridge. The plan of the district engineer is to utilize a portion of the existing levee by adding to the rock riprap now in place and in addition extending the Rubidoux Bridge 750 feet westward and constructing a levee to high ground 5,550 feet upstream from the bridge and continuing the levee downstream, a distance of 5,000 feet from the bridge.

The Riverside levee project would protect a total area of approximately 3,900 acres, having a property value of approximately $16,360,000. The damage during the 1938 tlood in this area alone was estimated at $604,000 and an estimated loss of life of 15 people by drowning in or near West Riverside. The estimated property value of this flooded area in 1940 was $3,272,000. The present valuation is estimated at $16,360,000, an increase of 400 percent. Estimated property damages occurring now from a flood similar to that of 1938 would be $3,020,000, an increase of $2.416,000. The 1910 population of this flooded area was 5,005. and today it is 11,884, an increase of 114 percent. We could expect a loss of life of 32. However, due to the crowded conditions of this area, the loss of life would probably be in a much higher ratio.

The tributaries Bautista Creek and the San Jacinto River, near the towns of Hemet and San Jacinto, have an average gradient of 80 to 30 feet per mile respectively. The channels are unstable and poorly defined. Local interests have since 1908 attempted to provide flood protection. Levees have been protected against erosion by wire, rail, and brush revetments for over a distance of 11 miles. Those lerees are relatively low and would be breached by a medium or large flood.

The recommended plan proposed one levee 1.5,580 feet downstream along the left bank of Bautista Creek from the canyon mouth to State Highway 7t. and a second levee would extend downstream 2,100 feet along the right bank of Bautista Creek from a hill near Valle Vista to State Highway 74. The levee along the left side of the San Jacinto River would extend downstream 20,750 feet from a point near the mouth of Bautista Creek.

The improvements would protect Valle Vista, Hemet, San Jacinto, and valuable agricultural lands covering an area of 13,000 acres and property valued at $11 million.

Riverside County has experienced the same accelerated growth in population and increased property values which are typical to other communities in southern California. Since the major flood in 1938 until the date of the district engineer's report, there was an increase of over 50 percent in population, and as of 1948, the population increased 100 percent over and above that which existed during the 1938 tlood. All indications show signs of continued growth, and this growth and the welfare of the entire area is dependent on adequate control of the food waters of the Santa Ana River. It is imperative that this flood control work be accomplished at the earliest possible moment.

When Congress requested the investigation of flood control along the Santa Ana River in 1937, the board of supervisors of Riverside County by resolution gave all assurances that the county would sponsor a flood-control project and do whatever necessary and required of local interests. This board of supervisors wishes to now reaffirm and reassure the Federal Government that the proposed plans meet with their approval and that the county still stands ready to undertake its requirements.

In August 1937, Congress authorized a preliminary examination and survey of the Whitewater River. The preliminary report was submitted in March 1939 by the United States Corps of Engineers and the survey was authorized by the Chief of Engineers on May 23, 1:39. A total of $160,000 has been spent by the United States Corps of Engineers in preparation of a survey report on this river. The report has not been completed and no additional money has been spent to this end in recent years. The United States Corps of Engineers estimate that an additional amount of $59,600 is needed to complete this survey report.

The Whitewater River watershed encompasses one of the fastest growing areas in southern California. Such towns as Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, and Indio are located in the watershed. The future economy of these towns, together with many resorts in the area, is to a large degree des pendent upou adequate flood protection.

In the past 7 years, the people have done much to protect themselves from floods, and at this time are planning additional flood-control measures. No doubt, a large portion of the time spent in planning economic surveys is a direct duplication of similar studies performed by the United States Corps of Engineers.

The board of supervisors of the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District requests and urges the committee and Congress to appropriate moneys in the amount of $200,000 for the purpose of revising and bringing up to date economic studies and cost estimates on the Santa Ana River project. Further, that sufficient money be allotted to the Chief of the United States Corps of Engineers to complete the Whitewater River survey report.

WILLIAM E. JONES, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

GENERAL STATEMENT

Mr. Bryant. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With your permission I would like to extend on that statement briefly.

In 1937, Congress authorized the Corps of Engineers to make a survey and report on the Santa Ana River and its tributaries. They completed that report in 1916 and in it they recommended the construction of four projects, two of which are located in Riverside County.

These two projects are the Santa Ana River levees near Riverside and the San Jacinta-Bautista Creek levees on one of the tributaries on the river.

Inasmuch as both of these projects are very similar in their general types of control and features, I would like to have permission to put up a map of the Santa Ana River project near Riverside, and briefly discuss it.

Gentlemen, this is an aerial photograph taken in 1946 of the Santa Ana River, at Riverside. First I might say that the flow of the river is from the right-hand side of the map to the left-hand side. The blue area that is colored here is the area that was flooded by the 1938 flood.

Now, this flood had a discharge of 100,000 second-feet of water. According to the Corps of Engineers' report, this section of the river at this point is capable of carrying about 20,000 second-feet. In other words, anything over 20,000 second-feet is going to inundate and do damage to this land.

Hydrologists have stated that the flood of 1938 had a frequency of once in 50 years. In other words, it is anything but a maximum flood. We can expect much worse floods.

After the flood of 1938, the people of Riverside County, with some State assistance, built two levees, indicated by the two solid yellow lines. We recognize, as do the Corps of Engineers, that these levees are entirely inadequate, and their program proposes the reinforcement of the two existing levees plus the extension of the levees as shown in the dotted yellow lines.

LAND EVALUATION

Xow, in 1938, when this area was flooded, the inundated area had a population of approximately 5,000 people. Today it has a population of around 12,000 people. The evaluation of the land of the

42592-54-46

« PreviousContinue »