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As an illustration I mentioned the city of Helena as a point near which the waters of the St. Francis are discharged into the Mississippi River. That is a city of about 20,000 people. I had a sur

a vey made by experts to ascertain the influence on the business structure of Helena by the creation of a backwater area at the mouth of White River nearby. The result of that survey disclosed that Helena depended upon that area for 20 percent of its business, and as a result of the conditions that I related to you, Helena was the the worst afflicted city in the United States during the period of this depression. They lost their banks, they lost their mercantile interests, and they suffered in every possible respect, and the diminution of revenues reached the point in that county where they were operating in an uncertainty of supporting the county government.

So it is in the St. Francis area. We have built towns there, gentlemen. We have a splendid system of roads. We have all of the utilities necessary to the comforts of modern life. We have splendid school buildings and educational organizations operating in that area. We have six trunk lines of railroads crossing the St. Francis River on which during the periods of flood, service is stopped absolutely. True, today, compared with a few years past, the stoppage of the flow of commerce over the railroads possibly is not so important an asset when applied to these interior places as the highways are, and it is the severance of roads and road connections, which means a paralyzing of business in the flooded areas.

The amount of damage done to the highway system of the State, according to the estimate made by the chairman of that commission, will run in the neighborhood of $300,000 from the flood that is now passing from this area. The railroads have not estimated their damage, but their roadbeds are being reconstructed in that area, which covers the physical damage, without taking into consideration the lost traffic during that period. The power lines, telephone lines, telegraph lines, swept away like a house of cards in a storm when the floods strike, causing the expenditure of thousands of dollars to maintain the services in these stricken valleys.

I have also a map prepared by the district engineer of the United States corps stationed at Memphis, with jurisdiction over this area, setting out in detailed way the area overflowed this year. This amounts to about 300,000 acres. That 300,000 acres of land overflowed displaced over 20,000 people from their homes, and many more were living over the water, using boats as a means of conveyance into the places where they were required to go to continue their business operations, and to live. The cost of caring for this condition is an enormous amount of money each year. In fact, the engineers investigating the problem on the St. Francis River report that there is an annual damage of $1,400,000 from the floods in the St. Francis River.

You gentlemen are very patient with me and with the witnesses appearing before you. They discussed, among other things, conditions in the backwater area of the river. We have no engineering recommendation on the backwater area. It is a matter that you are not called upon to deal with, because of that fact. The engineers are not prepared today to offer a solution to this backwater problem involving lands equally fertile with the lands of the other areas.




They are unable to make a recommendation for the backwater areas, because they need such areas for the storage of water that will be displaced in the Mississippi River to lessen the pressure on the levees for the main line of the river. There is a substantial pressure through the operation of the engineers for relief to those areas without the necessity of condemning property.

They are going to be uncovered through the operation of bend cutting, the acceleration of the water, and the lessening of the flood crests. If we get into those areas today and build a levee along the line of the tributary streams and tie onto the main levee of the Mississippi River, we produce a drainage condition there that will absolutely destroy the property sought to be protected through the expense of the operation of mechanical devices, the only means that can be employed to uncover the surface water that will collect in the pockets.

So that theory is one that is well defined and approaching a solution; but when we get above, the same apprehension is felt by the people in the twilight zone of the particular areas in the streams at the junction of the flood area and the backwater area. There is no doubt but what the confined waters, when thrown against the head of the backwaters, will make some difference in that immediate locality. Gradually they spread over the surface of the backwater area, and the influence is greatly lessened.

These people so concerned are anxious to see the control of the flood waters of the St. Francis River, based on the use of a reservoirand I use that word " in order to distinguish the use of the reservoir for flood control and power development recommendations which the engineers were required to investigate and report on, and you gentlemen are aware of the fact that in giving these directions we require the engineers to report on all of the essential features of a plan of controlling the waters of the streams, and, in order to provide for power development jointly with flood control, there was a recommendation for three reservoirs on the St. Francis River, two of them in the hill area, for power-development purposes, which is no part of this project.

Eliminating the two reservoirs in the highlands, they say they can provide a reservoir at Wappapello, at the junction of the river with the flood plain, that will control the flood flow of the St. Francis River, and reduce it to its use to the disposition of drainage coming from local rainfall. The property interests in that section, of course, would much prefer that.

But we will go further than that. The property interests along the St. Francis River prefer that system of treatment, because it reduces the pressure on existing levees and make them more secure, and therefore request that the engineers be vested with a discretion in this matter which will enable them to exercise an engineering judgment on the use of the reservoirs, instead of levee treatment alone.

We know that we have here a threat of recurring danger from year to year. It would naturally be the purpose of the engineers to effectuate control as rapidly as possible. It is a question for this engineering authority to determine whether or not that can best be done by the use of the reservoirs or the immediate construction of levees. I join these interess in appealing to this committee for the authority on the part of the engineers to exercise their judgment. I much prefer, as I have so frequently expressed myself in connection with the control of the waters of flood streams, the use of the reservoir, but that discretion must be exercised in view of the difficulties in the way of the people living under that horror and threat of recurring floods, not every year, but at frequent intervals during the flood years.

Gentlemen, I think that that covers the St. Francis situation.

Mr. ZIMMERMAN. Will you permit me to interrupt. I am sure that you have a telegram which is very illuminating

Mr. DRIVER. Yes; and I ask permission to insert it in the record. It is dated the 11th, and it reads: Approximately 40 miles Federal-aid system in Arkansas inundated due to St. Francis River flood conditions. Approximately 30 miles State highways not ca Federal-aid system also inundated. No record of county roads subjected to flood conditions. Above figures include back-water areas. No figures available as to duration as is entirely dependent on weather conditions. Various highways now have been closed for 3 weeks or more. Damage sustained indeterminate at this time as detailed inspections cannot be made. Estimate of damage of possibly $300,000 to $400,000 not unreasonable. Approximately 200 miles of State highways in eastern area subjected to overflow, owing to waters of St. Francis, L'Anguille, Cache, White, Bayou De Vue, Little, Red, Current, Black, and other streams as discharge of foregoing is somewhat dependent on stages of Arkansas and Mississippi.

W. W. ZASS, Chief Engineer of the State High Commission. This only includes that portion of the St. Francis system within the St. Francis Valley of Arkansas,

Now, I happen to know that your Missouri system is just a little better than the Arkansas system within that area, and therefore an approximation of the damage in the Arkansas end means even a larger damage to the Missouri highways, and I am sorry that the commissioner is unable to furnish us with the actual figures at this time.

The railroad damage is entirely in addition to the estimated damage of the Army Engineers, of $1,400,000 per annum. When these matters are taken into consideration, it is very evident that the facts make the strongest possible appeal to the authority that will provide protection to the valley in order that homes may be saved and the property here may not be abandoned. We are going to need this property. Today a large portion of our country is being withdrawn from cultivation, should be. People who have lived on these marginal and submarginal lands in an effort for a miserable existence, are entitled to such relief; they should have the chance to exercise their muscle and employ their business judgment to the betterment of their social welfare.

Today we are witnessing a condition in our semiarid country that is appalling. I was astonished to pick up a local Washington paper and read a dispatch from Memphis, Tenn., stating that this morning there was no daylight there, that the people went right along from the shadows of midnight on into the noon hour, using lights in their homes, automobiles running with lights, and no man would dare to venture on the highways without lights, all due to the fact that the soil in the arid area had been picked up, thrown into the air, and scattered over the face of the earth.

Whether or not we can provide the necessary supply of water to save those areas in time to keep those people on the soil is problematical. But there is one thing we do know, and that is that we are going to be forced to care for the people when they are unable to secure from the soil their sustenance, until we can bring to them moisture or we must move them from those areas to where they will have an opportunity to provide sustenance for themselves and their dependents.

These valleys, my friends, are going to be very necessary to the future life of this Nation. They are worth saving. I realize the fact that so long as the people themselves undertake to solve their own problems, it is their first duty to do it, but there is no doubt from the record in this case or in the mind of any man reasonably familiar with the conditions existing in this territory, that the people have exhausted every possible avenue to protect themselves before they made an appeal to this Congress for the necessary aid, not to provide, but to build with sufficient strength their structures to protect the valley from the devastation of frequent floods. These people alone have spent $13,000,000 on levee protection on the St. Francis River. They put up the reclamation works that have become a part of this plan. Of course, there will be some rectification of the levee lines. In some instances the foundations were not built secure enough to combat the waters, and there must be some rectification, but, aside from that, the people have provided a connected, consistent line of levees but not of sufficient strength.

Now, finding themselves with money exhausted, their ability to raise money foreclosed, they are appealing here for relief as residents of the valley of the most turbulent river in the United States, in the form of additional necessary strength which will enable them to protect their properties and to utilize them.

Mr. Chairman, I would be glad to place this map in the record as an exhibit, and also I will turn over to you the map furnished by the district engineer, showing the breaks in the territory, and the amount of territory inundated through those crevasses.

(The maps referred to are on file with the committee.)

Now, gentlemen, if I can answer any questions in regard to this matter, I would be glad to do it. That completes my statement.

The CHAIRMAN. You are, of course, in favor of the St. Francis project, and you favor the amendment suggested, giving discretionary authority and power to the Chief of Engineers to adopt the reservoir plan in that area?

Mr. DRIVER. Yes. I would be very glad indeed to see that discretion reposed in the engineers. It is my preference in the way of a treatment.

I want to say further that while I realize that some of these existing agencies along the St. Francis River are possibly unable to comply with the requirement and furnish rights-of-way, nevertheless I am in position to say that the rights-of-way will be guaranteed by the interested parties. Where this cannot be done, I am assured that the local interests involved will get together and themselves pledge compliance with the demand of the engineers.

The CHAIRMAN. If the project is approved, you can assure complete cooperation of the local people?

Mr. DRIVER. Absolutely.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. Just one or two questions, I have no desire to detain you.

The reservoir at Wappapello, at the foothills of the Ozarks in the State of Missouri, would be above or below that settlement or community or town, whatever Wappapello is?

Mr. Driver. Immediately at Wappapello.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. What size town is that?
Mr. DRIVER. It is just a cross-roads post office.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. What are the names of any towns that are
within this reservoir area?

Mr. DRIVER. None.
Mr. ZIMMERMAN. Possibly Greenville.
Mr. DRIVER. Would that be affected? Is it low enough?
Mr. ZIMMERMAN. It might.

Mr. DRIVER. My colleague tells me that the town of Greenville may be affected, but I was of the opinion that it was at an elevation that would remove it from danger.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. How many inhabitants has it?
Mr. ZIMMERMAN. There may be about 1,500.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. What is the number of acre-feet contemplated to be stored in this reservoir ?

Mr. DRIVER. I cannot recall just at the moment, but the engineers regard it as being of a capacity that will entirely take off the flood crest.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. May I ask my colleague if he recalls ?

Mr. ZIMMERMAN. No; I do not. I do not believe that I was present when that was testified to.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. I have the recollection that it is something like 2,000,000 acre-feet.

Mr. DRIVER. It is about that. It will take half the flow of the river, in flood tide, which is about 72,000 cubic feet at Wappapello.

Mr. W'HITTINGTON. Yes; I recall that.

Mr. DRIVER. And that would be about 82,000 cubic feet at St. Francis Lake,, at the point of diversion.

Mr. WHITTINGTOX. In other words, you would have 2,000,000 feet of reservoir space by the construction of the reservoirs and thus keep out the equivalent of that water from the Mississippi River.

Judge, you said that this area along the St. Francis had contributed during the last 40 or 50 years to the building of levees along the main river. Do you mean by that to say the entire area along the backwater and headwater of the St. Francis River in the State of Arkansas had made that contribution?

Mr. DRIVER. And in Missouri.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I will get to that; and likewise in Missouri?
Mr. DRIVER. And they are doing it today.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. In other words, your entire alluvial belt has contributed and is now contributing for the protection of the Mississippi River?

Mr. DRIVER. Yes; and every acre of land in the St. Francis River area is today charged with a lien for the outstanding bonds issued for the construction work on the main river, and has received an equivalent benefit, beyond any question, so far as keeping the Mississippi River water out; but, unfortunately, when they get the Mississippi River water out, the flood waters coming from the hills built up

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