Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. Gillison. No, but I know that is a fact. I well remember how hard it was to get them, since this Congress convened, to go up there and try to give us a little repair work just ahead of this water.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. I understand they have been doing some work there off and on for the past few years. I understood it to be stated here in our prior hearings. I want to get it correct.

Mr. GILLISON. If they have, I do not know it. It is possible. But Mr. Adams knows. He has been over on that levee.

Mr. McCLELLAN. Let me ask you one further question: Is there anything in the Jadwin plan or in the Flood Control Act of 1928 that says that somebody else somewhere else must call the attention of the engineers to the grade and section of the levee in the fuseplug area before they will do any work on it?

Mr. GILLISON. No, sir; not that I know of.

Mr. McCLELLAN. Does not the law say that that levee shall be maintained to that grade and section?

Mr. GILLISON. Yes, sir. I imagine you gentlemen are familiar with that, but I want to call your attention to a provision in the law creating the Jadwin plan. It says until the guide levees for the Jadwin spillway are erected, the territory at the head of the Jadwin spillway or the fuseplug shall have the same protection as the territory above and below on the Arkansas side and over in Mississippi on the other side. They paid no more atention to that than—the fact of the business is, they studiously found a way to evade it. They said, “We will not build quite down to it on the north and not build quite up to it on the south, so you cannot say that it has not the same protection that it has just above the area," because they did not go quite to it above or quite to it below.

I never heard an excuse for that.

Mr. MCCLELLAND. In other words, that part of the law has not been complied with?

The CHAIRMAN. What the act actually said was that the lands adjacent to the fuse-plug territory should be given the same protection as the land on the opposite side. That is a very elastic construction given to the word “ adjacent ".

Mr. RANSDELL. Mr. Chairman, in fairness to all concerned would it not be a good idea to let Mr. Adams, who is here, and who knows all the facts in regard to the fuse plug

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Adams is part of the Louisiana engineers. These people that are going to leave have the preference tonight.

Mr. RANSDELL. Then I ask that he be given the chance sometime to tell the facts in regard to these fuse plugs.

The CHAIRMAN. That is all on the schedule and arranged, yes.

Mr. RANSDELL. And that he be requested to stay here until he gets a chance to do that.

The CHAIRMAN. He expects to do that, and that is understood. I have consulted with him on that.

STATEMENT OF E. D. SHAW, OF BASTROP, LA. Mr. Shaw. My name is E. D. Shaw, of Bastrop, La., and I represent the Morehouse Parish School Board.

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I shall not take much of the time of the committee. I heartily endorse the report that has come from

!

the parish and the other members. I represent the school board, which is vitally interested in the protection not only of its public property located in areas that are subject to flood but its existence also. We are glad that an improved plan is being considered by this committee, and we think it gives us a very adequate protection, and have so endorsed it by resolution, which I should like to have filed.

The CHAIRMAN. That may be filed. Thank you very much, Mr. Shaw.

(The resolution referred to follows:) STATE OF LOUISIANA, Parish of Morehouse:

At a regular meeting of the Morehouse Parish School Board held in its office in Bastrop, La., on Tuesday, April 2, 1935, the following resolution was unáni. mously adopted :

Whereas it has come to the attention of the Morehouse Parish School Board, which is vitally interested in the welfare of Morehouse Parish, that the citizens of the parishes of East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas are opposing the Markham plan for Mississippi flood control as recommended by the Mississippi River Commission, and that they did under date of March 23, 1935, adopt resolutions which were published in the newspapers of the Fifth Congressional District, in which resolutions statements were made that opposition of the citizens of the parishes of East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas is more wide-spread and intense than the local opposition to the Boeuf Basin plan, which embraces portions of the parishes of Morehouse, East Carroll, Ouachita, Richland, Franklin, and Catahoula ; and

Whereas the Morehouse Parish School Board did by resolution go on record as being unalterably opposed to the Boeuf Basin floodway plan as a means of flood control as soon as it was proposed and has continuously opposed this plan from its inception; Now, therefore:

SECTION 1. Be it resolved, by the Morehouse Parish School Board in regular session, That the opposition to the Boeuf Basin floodway plan as expressed by the citizens of Morehouse Parish and other parishes affected is as wide-spread and intense as possible, which is evidenced in the records and by the hearings heretofore held concerning the Boeuf Basin plan.

SEC. 2. Be it resolved, etc., That it is the opinion of the Morehouse Parish School Board that the territory east of Bayou Macon Ridge offers a site for the most feasible and practical method of controlling floods of the Mississippi River rather than the Boeuf Basin.

SEC. 3. Be it further resolved, etc., That the Markham floodway plan east of Bayou Macon Ridge is now recognized and scientifically known by the Mississippi River Commission, General Markham, and the local authorities of Morehouse Parish as being the one affecting the smaller acreage of cultivated land, the smaller total acreage, the smaller population, the fewer incorporated towns, and the one least affecting natural drainage and watersbarts and the plan which would be far more economical to the Government.

Sec. 4. Be it further resolved, etc., That the Morehouse Parish school board endorses the Markham plan, because it is more feasible from an engineering standpoint than the Boeuf floodway plan with its fuse-plug system and uncontrolled spillway, and further because the Markham plan provides for the flowage rights and, therefore, deals more fairly with the property owners than does the Boeuf Basin plan.

SEC. 5. Be it further resolved, etc., That the Morehouse Parish school board endorses the Markham plan and opposes the Boeuf Basin plan not only because the Markham plan endangers less private property than does the Boeuf floodway plan, but also because it affects less public property, such as schools, bridges, etc., for which there is now existing considerable bonded indebtedness which would have to be assumed by other governing units.

SEO. 6. Be it further resolved, etc., That the Morehouse Parish school board concurs in the action and resolution of the Tensas Basin Levee Board and in the recommendation of the Mississippi River Commission that the Markham plan be adopted in lieu of the Boeuf floodway plan.

Sec. 7. Be it further resolved, etc., That the Morehouse Parish school board does go on record again as being unalterably opposed to the Boeuf floodway

131791–35-25

plan and reaffirms its intention of opposing any plan which proposes to endanger the property rights of its citizens without just compensation.

SEC. 8. Be it further resolved, etc., That a copy of these resolutions be handed the Morehouse Enterprise, Shreveport Times, Monroe News-Star, Times Picayune, and Commercial Appeal, and that a copy be forwarded to the President of the United States, the United States Army Engineering Corps, Mississippi River Commission, the Senators and Representatives of the State of Louisiana in the United States Congress, and to the heads of all interested departments of the United States Government. Adopted this 2d day of April 1935, at Bastrop, La.

C. E. VAUGHAN, President.

E. D. SHAW, Seoretary-Treasurer. The CHAIRMAN. Is there anyone else, now, who has not been heard, who desires to make a statement in order that he may return home!

(No response.)

The CHAIRMAN. We will adjourn until 10:30 o'clock tomorrow morning.

(Whereupon, at 9:35 p. m., a recess was taken until 10:30 tomorrow morning, Tuesday, Apr. 9, 1935.)

FLOOD CONTROL IN THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY

TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 1935

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON FLOOD CONTROL,

Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10.30 a. m., Hon. Riley J. Wilson (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.

When we closed the hearing yesterday I believe Mr. Bullis had completed his statement.

The next witness will be the president of the Fifth Louisiana Levee District, Mr. Kell.

Will you give to the reporter your full name, and state whom you represent and the position you occupy?

STATEMENT OF A. E. KELL, TALLULAH, LA., PRESIDENT BOARD

OF COMMISSIONERS, FIFTH LOUISIANA LEVEE DISTRICT Mr. KELL. Mr. Chairman, my name is A. E. Kell; I am president of the board of commissioners of the Fifth Louisiana Levee District, at Tallulah, La.

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, in order to inform the committee of the attitude that the levee board has taken it will be necessary to go into a little detail, which I am sorry to inflict on the committee. But I think I will have to do it in order to make you understand it.

This question in reference to the Eudora floodway was broached first when we contacted General Ferguson and asked him to appear before the levee board and explain the proposition, which he did. We felt that the duty of the board was to get all the information we could. The board felt that the next step would be to try to ascertain the wishes of the people, so we called a hearing and invited the people all over the parish to attend. There was quite a large delegation at that meeting.

Mr. Jacobs explained the engineering features of the plan, but we did not get anywhere.

At that time we did not have the Markham report, so the citizens requested the board that when we got the Markham report we call another hearing, which we did. At that hearing the Markham report was discussed from a good many angles, and the result of that meeting was that the board was requested to appoint a committee consisting of three citizens from each parish to make further studies of it and go into the matter and report to the levee board in writing.

That committee was appointed, and the reports came in. There were two reports.

Some of the people wanted a modified spillway, and some of them opposed it, and the levee board was, you might say, sitting in between two fires. If we did not do what one fellow wanted he would shoot; I do not mean, of course, that literally he would shoot at us; and if we did not do what the other fellow wanted, he would shoot at us.

So we thought that the proper thing to do was to see if we could not get a compromise. So we adopted this resolution at a special meeting on March 15, 1935, and I will read it to the committee. It says:

On motion of Commissioner Hill, seconded by Commissioner Young, the following resolution was unanimously adopted :

" Whereas the commissioners of this the Fifth Louisiana Levee District have received copies of the Chief Engineer's recommendations made to the Honorable Riley Wilson, chairman of the Flood Control Committee, under date of February 12, 1935, and have conducted hearings as to the wishes of the people in connection therewith, and have made exhaustive investigation themselves as to the advisability of such a floodway: Therefore be it

Resolved, That the recommendations made by the Chief of Engineers in his letter transmitting the report on flood-control works in the alluvial valley of the Mississippi River, dated February 12, 1935, to the Chairman of the Flood Control Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., for proposed work and modification in the adopted plan for flood control, will be approved, provideá that there are certain modifications and additions incorporated in the bill, the principal modifications of which are as follows:

“1. It is the view of this board that one and one-half times the assessed value of the properties within the floodway is not an adequate compensation, in view of the fact that their assessments have been reduced in recent years by reason of the depression and difficulty of the taxpayers to pay their taxes, and we feel that their compensation should be twice the assessment of the year 1934."

There is another reason there which was embodied there. We felt that at that time there were good many small farmers in that territory who had bought cut-over lands at a low price, and under the law the assessment could not be raised. They are still assessed at a low price, and we figured that one and one-half times would not be sufficient assessment.

The resolution of the levee board goes on to say:

“2. This board also feels that there would be some provision for taking care, in whole or in part, of that portion of the bonded indebtedness throughout the parishes affected by the floodway, which would rest upon the lands actually in the floodway.

“3. This board feels further, that the owners of the lands in the floodway should be compensated as aforesaid, not only for the lands, but for the improvements thereon, and that such compensation should include all the lands and improvements within the floodway from its upper end to its lower end.

* 4. We feel further that some compensation should be paid the landowners of the parishes in the backwater area because of flood waters which would be laced upon them.

" 5. We feel further that the floodway construction should not end at the Louisiana & Arkansas railroad near Wildsville, Concordia Parish, La., but should be continued down to the Black River and thence along the east bank of Black River to Red River, thence south on the east bank of Red River to a point approximately opposite Shaw, where it should then extend east to a connection with the Mississippi River levee.

“6. It is requested that in order to properly take care of intercepted drainage, there be placed in the guide line levee at Bayou Cocodria and other places where necessary, flood gates of adequate dimensions to properly take care of drainage.

« PreviousContinue »