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Under section 25 any contracting agency may exempt from the act (1) any war contract made or to be performed outside the continental United States or in Alaska, or (2) any termination inventory situated outside the continental United States or in Alaska, or (3) any modification of a contract pursuant to its terms for the purpose of changing plans or specifications applicable to the work without substantially reducing its extent.
SEPARABILITY OF PROVISIONS
Section 26 contains the usual separability clause.
Section 27 permits the act to be cited as the "Contract Settlement Act of 1944."
78TH CONGRESS , HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT No. 1444
EMERGENCY REPAIRS TO FLOOD-CONTROL WORKS
MAY 12, 1944.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Cnion and ordered to be printed
Mr. WHITTINGTON, from the Committee on Flood Control, submitted
(To accompany H. R. 4793]
The Committee on Flood Control, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4793) to provide for emergency fiood-control work made necessary by recent floods, has considered sanie, report it favorably to the House and recommend that it do pass.
The purpose of the bill is to authorize the amount of $12,000,000 as an emergency fund to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of War and the supervision of the Chief of Engineers for the repair, restoration, and strengthening of levees and other flood-control works which have been threatened or destroyed by the recent floods The bill also provides for the use of available balances from existing floodcontrol appropriations for this work pending the appropriation of the amount of $12,000,000 authorized in the bill, and it provices for the reimbursement of the existing appropriations from the appropriation authorized in the bill. The Lill also contemplates the completion of work begun under the act which was approved by Congress on July 12, 1943, for similar purposes and will permit the use of funds appropriated under this authority for emergency flood-control work resulting from such floods as may occur later in the year. Section 2 of the act states that the provisions thereof shall be additional and supplemental to, and not in lieu of, existing general legislation which authorizes allocation of flood-control funds for repair and maintenance of floodcontrol works threatened or destroyed by floods.
In Report No. 596, Seventy-eighth Congress, first session, on the act approved July 12, 1943, the committee expressed the view that it is sound economy to include strengthening of levees and flood-control
structures in the repair operations in order to minimize costly sandbagging and flood fighting and avoid the expenditure of Federal funds solely for restoration of manifestly inadequate works. The committee reaffirms this belief and feels that strengthening work of this character should be undertaken pursuant to this bill for only minor improvements. Where repairs are necessary on levee projects which have been authorized by Congress in flood control acts for enlargement to provide a greater degree of flood protection, the committee believes that it is sound economy to carry the repair work to the authorized increased grade and cross section. It is not intended that this bill will provide for major improvements or for reconstruction or extensions of levee systems or for constructing new flood-control works or for providing flood-control protection where none now exists.
Several bills have been introduced to provide for emergency appropriations for repairs and restoration of flood-control works as a result of the recent floods, including H. R. 4719 by Mr. Simpson of Illinois and H. R. 4732 by Mr. Schwabe of Missouri.
In section 5 of the Flood Control Act approved August 18, 1941, the Congress adopted for the first time the policy that the Federal Government should assist in the repair and maintenance of floodcontrol structures threatened or destroyed by floods throughout the United States. That act authorized the allotment of $1,000,000 per year for this purpose. The committee has considered the advisability of increasing the amount authorized for allotment in any 1 year for this purpose and believes that lacking extensive experience in the application of this annual authorization during normal conditions, no increase in that annual authorization is necessary at the present time. The committee is of the opinion that the repair of flood-control structures damaged by unusual floods such as those which have occurred in 1943 and the present year can more appropriately be authorized in bills such as Public 138, Seventy-eighth Congress, first session, and in the bill now under consideration.
The committee conducted hearings on the bill and received testimony from Members of Congress, local interests, and the Chief of Engineers on the recent floods and the provisions of the bill. It was brought out that serious floods have occurred in the central portion of the country due to heavy rain storms which began during the first week of April 1944. Those floods caused destruction or serious damage to many levee systems constructed by local communities and extensive damage to agricultural lands and other private properties. The principal streams on which the flood damages were unusually severe in 1944 are the Missouri, Mississippi, and Illinois Rivers. The flood discharges and stages in some cases exceeded those which occurred in the great floods of the spring of 1943.
The Chief of Engineers has furnished the committee the following letter which contains data relative to the bill and preliminary estimates of the areas inundated, flood damages, and loss of life, together with comparative estimates for the floods of 1943. As was the case in 1943, it is probable that more complete data which will become ávailable when the floods have receded will total to much larger figures.
Washington, May 11, 1944.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. WHITTINGTON: Reference is made to your letter of May 11, 1944, in which you call attention to H. R. 4793 and ask for data on the authority and funds needed for food fighting and rescue work and for repair, maintenance, restoration, and strengthening of levees and other flood-control works threatened or destroved by recent floods. You also ask for other pertinent information on the areas flooded, property damages, and lives lost.
As you know, due to heavy rainstorms which began during the first week of April 1944. serious floods have occurred in the central portion of the country, causing destruction or serious damage to many levce systems constructed by local communities and extensive damage to agricultural lands and other private property The principal streams on which the flood damages were unusually severe are the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ilinois Rivers. The flood discharges and stages in some cases exceeded those which occurred in the floods of the spring of 1943.
Although the floodwaters in some areas have not yet receded sufficiently to permit a careful examination of the damages suffered as a result of the floods, the best information now available indicates that the areas inundated total approximately 7,900,000 acres, which compares with a total of 10,000,000 acres inundated by the 1943 floods. The estimated damages to property during the present floods total about $77,000,000 as compared with a total damage of $164,000,000 in the 1943 floods Since the present floods occurred earlier in the year than those of 1943, the crop damages during the present floods are somewhat lighter than those of the previous year. The total number of lives lost during the present floods is 25 as compared with 72 lives lost during the floods of 1943. The enclosed tabulation lists the streams affected by the recent floods, together with comparative estimates for the foods of the spring of 1943.
According to preliminary data recently received from our division engineers in the flooded areas, the estimates of authority and funds needed for the foregoing purposes are shown in the tabulation below. As the floods in some areas have not yet receded sufficiently to determine the full extent of damages to floodcontrol structures, these estimates are based upon the best information available at this time
In view of the fact that the magnitude of the damages caused by the recent floods to levees and other flood-control works cannot be definitely determined at this time due to the high-water stages. it is believed that the total estimate of the funds which would be needed to repair those damages should be rounded to $12,000,000. Although the total property damages during the floods of this spring are probably lower than those resulting from the floods of 1943 due to the fact that the recent floods occurred earlier in the growing season, the total damage to food-control structures is expected to be approximately the same as that
caused by last year's floods. For this reason and since there remains to be completed a small amount of emergency repair work started with funds authorized in Public, 138, approved July 12, 1943, the total amount of authority and funds which would be required at the present time for repairs to flood-control structures are slightly in excess of those provided in Public, 138.
Because of the emergency conditions resulting from the recent floods and the urgent necessity for the early availability of authority and funds to accomplish the repair work outlined above, this letter has not been cleared with the Bureau of the Budget and the relationship of the proposed repair work to the program of the President is, therefore, not known at this time. A copy of this letter is, however, being furnished to the Bureau of the Budget. Very truly yours,
These record and near-record floods have damaged and destroyed a great many of the flood-protection structures which had been built over a period of years by the local interests in an effort to provide adequate flood protection for themselves. Unless these protective works are repaired quickly, large areas will remain subject to inundation from even minor floods. In many instances it is impracticable to plant crops until flood protection is restored. Based on the data furnished by the Chief of Engineers, the committee estimates that for emergency repairs of existing food-control works and for rescue work and flood fighting, about $ 12,000,000 will be required in addition to the funds now available for that work. The committee believes that this amount should be provided immediately and that the repair work should be carried out with all dispatch.
Under the provisions of the bill the Chief of Engineers can repair levees and other flood-control works to original condition and where advisable can strengthen the structures in the threatened and damaged sections to provide full safety against floods of the magnitude they are designed to withstand. Minor raising of low portions of levee systems can be accomplished. Short extensions to provide adequate ties to high ground can be made. Short set-backs may be made where necessary to preserve the integrity of levee lines.