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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  October 18, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT

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much a minority of the considerations. with all of the damage that has been done to farming, to the homes come to small businesses and everything, it seems to me that we have got to start putting people first on a consideration in this manual and that by putting people first would be trying to mitigate the damage that was done by flooding and not have as much concern about recreation, irrigation, municipal water, environment, and environmental species, commerce when you see all of the damage that was done by this flood more consideration has to be done to the flood control than has been done in this manual that now governs. re-ride the manual and to the jury quickly. thank you.
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.. >> there's no doubt about that. in my state of north dakota, we were hit by record floods, records that are so far exceeding anything ever in recorded history, that you have to wonder what is happening. i just say so those who are listening -- two major river systems in our state were affected.
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this headline for the daily news really says it all -- "swampedded". this is our fourth largest town. in 48 hours, the level of the flood was increased, the projection, 10 feet. i mean, there's no way you can respond in 48 hours to an increase in the projection had 10 feet. that is inhumanly -- humanly not possible to defend a town. a wall of water was headed our way, more than 11,000 residents were evacuated. this is three and a half feet higher in terms of the flood level than the record recorded flood of 1881, so we're dealing with something that is so far outside our experience that it's hard to even talk about. the damage to this town was
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dramatic, more than 4,000 homes were swamped for weeks and many of them destroyed. rebuilding this city will take years, and bismarck, our capitol city, and its sister city, were hit by historic flooding. for those along the missouri river, one of the most frustrating aspects of the problem was the ever-changing forecast with a forecast of a release of 10,000cfs's to ultimately 150,000cff's, ten times what is normal. this is the highest releases ever in recorded history. flooding of this magnitude was not seen since the garrison dam was operatal. hundreds of families were forced
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from their homes, two of my employees, one of whom will not be back into her home until next year. her and her family have been living in my apartment because their house is absolutely so badly damaged that they can't get back. here's just one example of the havoc this flood caused. as you can see, this family, like many others, had built a sandbag dike around their home. the volume of the water it moved with such speed that it cut a new channel and created a hole that claimed this home. focus in the near term must be clearly on repairing damage to flood control systems. we also need additional federal support for families and businesses so they have some chance to recover. many of my constituents are concerned that they'll face another flood next year because we have record amounts of water
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in the system, and the forecast is for more record rainfall. i believe that requires us to review the operations of the master manual. just sticking with what's been done is not good enough. finally, i want to thank very sincerely, both general walsh and general mcmahon for their service and their service of the entire team. they did wage truly heroic efforts to defend these cities and towns, and we'll never forget those efforts. at the same time, we're in our duty not to acknowledge the master manual operating instructions is not going to cut it in these extraordinary weather conditions we confront. i thank the committee. >> thank you so much. senator conrad.
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senator rocks, we welcome -- senator roberts, we welcome you. >> thank you, and thank you for the hearing with my good friend, jim inhofe, who will be in the issue for some time. i don't know what we did to mother nature, but she has not acted in a very welcome way. starting in may and lasting through september, however, living along the missouri river were protecting their property with regards amount of water, four kansas counties were serious rainfall away from catastrophe. as explained to me, it's the spigot, and it was wide open. there was little or no management control once the water was released. thankfully, no major rain events
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occurred, otherwise i'd be discussing the loss of life and significant property damage. i say that very humbley because many experienced disasters with fields that were damminged and destroyed #, not to mention the cost enduned by local and state governments to sandbag and watch levies for sand boils and water over toppings. back in july, i joined my friend and former colleague on a tour of the flooding from kansas city to ellwood. we visited the first responders and the government officials, operate -- offered assistance time and time again. we heard how the river was mismanaged #. the master manual needs additional emphasis placed on the top priority and that priority is flood control. i have heard from all but one upset farmer with flooded fields
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in the past decade that the tail is wagging the dock, and too much emphasis 1 put on recreation, fish, and wildlife through a spring pulse and water quality. now, these purposes are congressionally approved. they should to the hinder the primary purpose of flood control. the dogs should not wag its tail. congress should ensure the core is putting control above all else. that is why earlier this summer we introduced s. 1377, the bill taking into account all the available data in conducting missouri river basing operations. i know that nobody knows where the next rainfall event occurs, how much falls, and in any amount of time nor can anyone estimate this winter's snow pack, but there's now a new precipitation record. we have to ensure this latest data is incorporated and used in a timely fashion in any and all
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army corp. of engineer management decisions in order to limit to the great education extent possible a flood of this year's mag any nude from ever occurring again. i thank the chair. >> thank you, senator. senator johnson, we're happy you're here. please proceed. >> thank you, chairman boxer for holding this hearing to examine this year's flooding. i appreciate the opportunity to provide brief remarks. flooding is our nation's most common form of natural disaster, and this is also the most costly. though we can never fully eliminate the risk of flooding, it is crucial that we continually evaluate the condition of our flood control infrastructure and the effectiveness of our management practices. in south dakota, we are no stranger to natural
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disasterring, but this year's missouri river flooding has been unprecedented in scope and duration. people have been displaced from homes and businesses for months, and they are facing long months of clean up ahead. utilities and drinking water infrastructure has suffered significant damage in communities and on indian reservations along the missouri. the economic and emotional impacts of the flooding have been tremendous. what has been particularly far shorting for many south dakotans is they are living some of the most flood infrastructure in the united states. south dakota is home to six -- to four of the six mainstream dams and reservoirs constructed by the core of engineers after passage of the flood control act
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of 1994. the historic flood of 1881, these dams and reservoirs were not sufficient to accommodate the run off p 201 # 1. management of this system has always created tension in the basin, but in this year's flooding, concerns were management is higher than ever. in addition to our physical infrastructure, we need to consider mitigation and options to limit damages when flooding occurs. chairman of the banking committee, i would have been working with my colleagues to reauthorize the national flood insurance program, a premier means for residents and businesses to mitigate the risks of financial loss in the event of flooding. there are no easy answer, but the issue of flood control on the missouri river is vitally
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important to the economy and people of south dakota. i look forward to working with you to better understand the risks and improve flood control in the missouri river basis. again, thank you, chairman boxer and ranking member inhofe for holding this important hearing. >> thank you. before we hear from the rest of the colleagues, senator ben nelson, welcome. >> thank you. thank you, madam chair, and ranking member inhofe for holding today's hearing. i'm particularly grateful the committee has given us the opportunity to talk about the state's experiences, and i encourage the committee to very closely examine what led to such unprecedented flooding and helped develop the necessary procedures to future events will be less destructive. in nebraska, we're working on getting a full handle on the
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total devra davisation, but -- devastation, but fema calculated assistance and they provided $3.86 million in the assistance for individual assistance. the cost is not just limited to brick and mortar. so far, the usda risk management agency paid out $13 million in flooding this year. farm land in the north and richardson counties in the southeast has been submerged for mormts. not only did it cost producers their crops, but the damage to the land could keep them from planting in those fields for years to come and perhaps never. you can rebuild structures, but thousands of acres of land now silted and destroyed crop land may never return to
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productivity, so to that end, i appreciate the committee to invite the director department of natural resources to discuss the unique challenges facing our state. given the immense, long term, costly damage the flood cost, it's necessary for congress to get answers as to what went wrong and what steps must we take to avoid such destruction. i'll have the opportunity to visit with brig deed general mcmahon later this week, but i hope the committee takes the opportunity to ask the corp. important questions as to what have they learned to the tragedy, and what steps will it take to better respond to such record proportions? i'm deeply concerned with the corp.'s 2011-2012 operating plan and the corp.'s unwillingness to adjust the amount of water the rereceiverring can hold in response -- reserves can hold in response to last year's runoff. doing the same thing and hoping for a different result is not acceptable. if more capacity would have cost
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less than medduation, perhaps we should talk about what adjustments we make to the structures themselves. i also hope the committee learns more about the corp.'s post assessment process currently underway. i'm aware of their internal review and multiple disciplined team of experts, but i hope the committee and the staff will explore this process in this time line. finally, i'd like to stress the need for expediting work along the way in the missouri levy, and i thank the chair and ranking member for commitment of listening to local individuals of what's required in each state. it's crucial the corp. gives us a complete assessment of the damages, estimated cost, and time line for repairs to be completed. i don't want a discuss on climate change, you what we ought to is there are patterns ever weather changes that we need to be prepared for changes
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in the future, not expecting to wait for another thousand years for another epic flood. thank you, madam chair, thank you, senator inhofe. >> thank you very much. we'll call up the second panel of colleagues. senator john thune, roy brunt, hoven, and -- we welcome you. do we have somebody changing the name plates 1234 all -- plates? all right. here we go. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> senators and conmen, welcome to -- congressmen, welcome to you all. you have busy days, we understand that. as soon as you're complete, feel free to go to your next obligation. senator john thune, we welcome you. senator thune. >> thank you, madam chair for holding this important hearing, and i appreciate the examination you with giving to this important issue. unlike a normal disaster like a hurricane that happens in a brief amount of time as victims are able to recover and move on, the flooding in south dakota lasted over 90 days displays families from homes with tremendous economic impact on businesses and communities along
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the missouri river. the flood started memorial day and lasted until labor day. many who had homes damaged or destroyed never purchased flood insurance because they were told their homes were not at risk. i categorize the flood of 2011 as a hybrid between a natural and manmade disaster. i believe human error crickets to the -- contributed to the disaster. we have to learn from the mistakes and make adjustments to ensure similar disasters do not occur in the future. march 1 is when the system needs a required amount of storage or empty space to accumulate the average runoff from the winter snow pack. the corp. has not required all amount of empty space on march 1. throughout the month of march, the empty space filled up with runoff exceeding expectations. by march 31st, the storage space was erased.
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the reservoir was nearly seven feet higher than expected at the end of the march. despite the rapid increase, the corp. did not accommodate for the di asianal -- additional water. the reservoirs were above expectations, but they did not respond with discharges to compensate for the inflow in february and march allowing the system to be near capacity on may 1 unable to store the runoff. the main thing to take athey is the corp. failed in understanding the amount of risk the snow packs contained resulting 234 a series of events that led to a more serious flood than otherwise occurred. the question i think the members of this committee need to ask the corp. today is why didn't they release more water along the missouri river dam system in march, april, and play when they knew they were losing storage capacity and inflows were above normal capacity. corp. leadership responds to the question by saying they would have needed perfect foresight to
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predict the massive amount of rain in montana in may, but a lot of experts and foreign observers saw early on severe flooding was likely coming in the spring and summer. everybody sawing coming owner the corp. of engineer who is in charge of manning the river. some degree of flooding was going to happen in south dakota regardless of what the corp. did or didn't do, but the corp. thought they could fill up the entire amount of empty space in the system by may gambling the snow pack was gone with no precipitation in may. because they miscalculated on the snow pack r, they never fully communicated what preparation and what level was going to be needed until it was too late. i would say, madam chair, and other members of the committee, going forward, flood control needs to be the top priority for the corp., and this is something to be modified or reflected in
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the master manual governing the management of the missouri river, and i fear the corp. is flanking to move forward under assumption this was a one-off event. my understanding is they are planning to have the same space in the system next year as this year. i think that's a risky proposition as we are in a wet sickle, and i hope the corp. will not repeat mistakes next year or in future years that occurred this year. keep in mind, the reservoir system is not as capable for the 2012 runoff season as it was this year as a result of the stress the system witnessed. i said throughout this entire debacle this summer the corp. of engineers needed to be held to account for the management of the river system this year, and i hope this hearing marks an accountability moment for the corp.. got my own statement i'd like to submit for the report. i'd like to build on the record by providing written statements provided by the mayor, south dakota ?urnz director -- ?urnz director, and the
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community improvement district and ask the staples also appear in the record. i make one fiebl observation, too, and i also want to include a statement by brad lawrence, the public works director for the city who on february 1 predicted a flood of biblical proportions based upon the research he had done at that time. his statement, his narrative, i think, is very compelling, and when you look at the arguments, the statements he was already making at that early point in the process, it's hard to feature why we ended up where we were. madam chair, thank you for the opportunity to testify before your committee this morning. >> senator, thank you very much. senator blunt. >> thank you for holding this hearing. yesterday, october the 16th, the corp. announced that the missouri river flood was officially over. now, we've had lots of flooding in our state over the years, and usually it's a few days or a few weeks in april or may.
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october the 16th, the corp. announced that the flood was officially over. this was is flood that started in senator baucus' state over five months ago, five months of flooding, and in missouri, we had significant amounts of the state that were underwater for three and four months and while no disaster response is perfect, it's important to learn from the past, and i think as senator thune just mentioned, failing to account for disaster events or mistakes and dismissing disasters as unlikely to occur again simply isn't good enough. over the past year, missouri and the entire country faced a 234u6r78 natural -- number of natural disasters. as we work to rebuild, there's a lot to be done. colonel anthony, the kansas city corp. commander said again yesterday calls an official into
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the flood, that the corp. has $27.7 million set aside for repairings. at a hearing last week, they said they needed $1 billion for to bring the river management system back to where it was at the beginning of the year, so we have $27 million set aside, we need $1 billion, not to get the system better than it was in january, but just to get the system back to where it was in january, and, of course, as we look at that, we see counties like colt county massachusetts where 16 -- colt county missouri where 165,000 acres were under water for the summer. bird's point was at 130,000 acres, not nearly as impacted as the 165,000 acres in colt
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county. they were able to get a crop in even though there were lots of early crop loss, but overall over 400,000 acres underwater at some time this year, half the size of the entire state of rhode island, and a lot of 400,000 acres was underwater for three and four months, and we haven't ever seen anything like that before. as one county commissioner, i think, well said about the impact of these floods which took out interstate highways, county roads, state roads, one time five bridges over the missouri river that where missouri is on one side of the bridge, was closed, and as a county commissioner talked about all jobs impacted, and he says the factory doesn't get back to work until the roads are rebuild, the roads restored with the flood protection, and flood
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protection not restored unless congress provides the funding. thank you for the hearing, i have a statement for the record, and i'll summit. >> thank you for that cycle of virtue you laid out here because it's ceer. we're key to the whole thing here. thank you very much. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify this morning, also to ranking member inhofe, thank you very much. we had record flooding in north dakota, record flooding in our state this year. we had it on the red river on the shyian river, james river, missouri river, and on the river managed by the corp., we had 4,000 homes that were either completely destroyed or partially destroyed. according to fema, is now one of their largest housing efforts, just in the community, to get people into housing before
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winter comes. they said it's their third largest housing effort after katrina and ike. that's just one example. that's what we're facing. in the case, we're working with the corp. now, not only the other agencies to not only rebuild the defenses, but we need to see specifically from the corp. what their plan is going to be. we're working with cornel price, the commander of the st. paul district on a flood protection plan for next year to be sure we don't have a repeat in that community of the flooding we had this year if we continue to have the wet conditions we're having right now. in bismarck, same thing. as senator thune just mentioned and senator conrad mentioned earlier and as others have already commented on, we're in a wet cycle. now, how the corp. manages the river, in this case, the missouri river, in a wet cycle has got to be different than how
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they manage the river in a drought cycle. what it appears nay are doing is that they're going back to an average year every year saying, okay, every year is average, and we go from there. that's not the case. when we're in the drought cycle, at which time i was governor in narks, every year they say it's an average year, and they let out the same amount of water, but we were in a draught. they needed to conserve water. they were not conserving enough water. we're in the wet cycle now. every year for the last five years, it's been getting wetter, but they go back to the average year. we're in a wet cycle. they need to let more water out, adjust based on the conditions on the ground. that needs to be reflected in the master manual when we talk about flood protection. specifically, this year, the north dakota state water commission is recommending that
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lake, the largest reservoir we have, be brought down another two and a half feet. i'm submitting my written testimony, and i have specific questions in that testimony, but we are asking the court to reduce the reservoir another two and a half feet to create more storage capacity. that can be done now without downstream impacts. who makes that decision? when do they make it? we need this type of accountability, and if they don't let out that additional water now, we need to have them show us specifically how they'll provide protection next spring with the kind of precipitation we're having now throughout the river basin. thank you. >> senator, thank you so much for your testimony. it was very compelling. on this panel, our last speaker and we're delighted to see congressman mcconnahan here. i'll ask senator baucus for an opening statement, and then we'll have the honorable joe
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ellen come up with her generals and we look bard to that, so congressman, please proceed. >> thank you chairwoman boxer, ranking member inhofe, an honor to be here with your colleagues on this critical issue important to the folks that we represent in missouri. i especially appreciate your remarks about this being bipartisan, and i am certainly glad to be here with senator blunt to show an effort for the work in missouri. wii familiar with the -- we're familiar with the majesty and might of our great rivers in missouri, but the mississippi and missouri river floods in april and may this year were the largest and most damaging on record. during just the last half of may, the upper missouri river basin received a year's worth of rainfall.
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on may 3, the army corp. of germings made the big decision to blow up a section of the levy in southeast missouri submerging 130,000 acres of farmland to ease flood states to illinois and kentucky river towns. the physical damages to river control structures from the floods are estimated at $2 billion thus far, not counting the millions of dollars to lost crops, homes, and lives. many of the agricultural fields are still in the process of drying out. the people of missouri are still in the process of rebuilding their lives, and still, they need the help of local, state, and flail resources. -- federal resources. unfortunately, our house transportation and infrastructure committee has yet to hold a hearing like this. we have, although organized a briefing for our colleagues in the house back in july to review the status of these issues. we heard from many experts at the briefing we had there, but perhaps the most illuminating is the experience of richard oswald
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in missouri. his home was flooded for the third time in his life because the failure of the reservoir system. he could not return to his home for months, his crop ruined, the economy of his 1200 person town devastated. his story was repeated countless times across the state. 234 southern jefferson county, construction projects have been delayed, commerce amounterred, property damage, marine and river fronts ruin the and well and suer systems compromised. these floods are some of the largest events since the great flood of 1927, and we should take the opportunity to learn from it and rethink our priorities along the river and how we manage reservoirs and levies. we need to reach out to the local officials and members affected in their communities 10 we help predict when and where the flooding will occur providing relief support and where possible help with
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preventive measures. we need to revisit the master manual to see if it needs revision based on these lessons learned. in my extended remarks, i detailed a framework for the review and we need to address the issue of funding. the lack of funding strached the corp.'s capacity to meet the water resources needs. we have to ask tough questions to learn from these events. how will the country and corp. pay for the repairs? how will we prior advertise where we -- prioritize repair and where we do have to rethink our infrastructure in change how we manage river conditions. i believe the congress must find a way to ensure the prepares are done properly, expeditiously, not at the expex of other projects. i look forward to working with you on these issues in the months ahead ensuring both sides of congress learn from and better prepare for the future of
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these events. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you, congressman. do you have a longer statement for the record. >> i'll put it in the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. >> senator baucus, delighted you can be here. heavy is the hat who wears the crown of the committees, but we welcome you. thank you for being here. >> thawfng very much for -- thank you very much for holding this hearing. i'd like to welcome buzz from north eastern montana. he'll be on the second panel, the exact person we need who has been around a good number of years, several generations, lots of common sense experience, a lot of rise and ebbs and flows of rivers in montana. let me just say a couple thicks about this subject. i'll open it up by saying madam chair and others, i have for years, years worked very hard to
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convince the army corp. of engineers to change their master manual in the other direction. army corp. engineer studies show and have shown for a long time that the economic value of the upstream space of montana, especially, is about ten times the economic value of the river downstream. downstream was barge traffic. downstream states, especially the state of missouri pushed, pushed, pushed to keep more water of the out reservoir, upstream reservoirs for the barge industry downstream. you have no idea how hard they pushed, and you have no idea how hard it was for us upstream states to save, save some of the water and the missouri river, the reservoir, and other upstream reservoirs. i have a photograph that shows a
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dock on fort peck reservoir that's a mile to the shore because there's no water. there's no water. irrigation because there's no water, and i've almost gave up the ghost, almost gave up. i've been trying for 20 years, 30 years along with other southerners, north dakota, south dakota, senator conrad especially, to try to get the corp. of engineers to not force us to let so much water out. that's been going on for years. now we have a flood. it's terrible. there's a flood down descreem. it's terrible. but my main point here is let's be careful. the army corp. of engineer studies this stuff and trying to figure the proper balance, how much water is kept and not kept and so forth, and i find it a
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little strange that suddenly, i know the reason because of the floods, and it's devastating, terrible, and now they have the opposite message. really, we want water, want water, want water. this year, no water, no water, no water. i mean, it's just the opposite. they don't tell you that. they don't tell you what the last 30-year history has been as they ask for more and more water, so, and frankly, this is a difficult subject. to the degree one believes 234 climate change, and i do, scientists will say that with increased climate change in this world, there's greater volatility in weather, and the cycles are shorter. i remember dr. hanson 20 years ago predicted that in a hearing with the interior committee. it was compelling testimony that he gave. that's what, i think, is happening now. sometimes you have wet years,
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sometimes dry years. look at texas. it's in drought. oklahoma, in drought. eastern montana, drought. it's just very spotty. it changes. i believe there's going to be increased volatility in weather cycle, and i think that the compression's going to be shorter, and we're going to have years where it rains a lot and there's a lot of snow pack and so forth, but you wasn't willie-nilly turn off the dams and turn them on to control it. a lot of the floods are not missouri river, a lot of floods mentioned today, the rivers devastated south dakota. there are missouri floods, no doubt. i might say, madam chair, i have one book i want to read about the 1927 flood. i have not read it 6789 i'm told it's a great book, and i want to read that book, but it gives one a sense, too, what the floods were back in that era. now, the corp. of engineers told
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my office, i don't know if this is in print, but told my office that this reoccurrence of a flood of this magnitude is about .2%, about a 500 year flood. we don't have records of 500 years ago so it's hard to predict, but they told us privately, maybe it's in print, maybe, but there's a .2% of reoccurrence, so i hear it as it's said here, clearly, the corp. should manage the dams, the corp.'s in the jurisdiction, l manage it fairly and so forth, but in the master manual, recreation has been listed as a priority as has environmental protections and so on and so forth, and suddenly somebody's oh, no, that's the manual today, i think that's probably in the long period of history result in fort peck being right back down to low, low levels again because
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the water's out again. i mean, look at fisheries, endangered species act, there's so many factors here. i just urge the corp. to be very careful, and it's just not -- it's not react with the whims. that's not the right word. not react to the moment when actually this stuff can change us. >> well, senator, thank you. that was sobering testimony, and really. i thought you summed it up well, and thank thank you for being here. senator, do you want to make an opening statement before we call the assistant secretary to the floor? >> if it's appropriate -- >> surely is. >> i promise to be brief. >> surely is. >> thank you, madam chair. i appreciate holding the hearing today. the mighty mississippi has
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brought commerce to the arkansas, but the river brings challenges to the delta as well. this flood provided a great test. i'll start by thanking people in arkansas and the mississippi river valley working night and day to fight the flood. these included private individuals as well as state, local, and federal officials, personnel throughout the corp. including from the little rock, memphis districts showing tremendous dedication professionalism under very challenges circumstances. the conditions that led to this year's events were very similar to the major mississippi floods to have the 20th century including the great flood of 1927. our country should be very proud that the invs.ment made over the decades led to far different outcome. while there was a great suffering this year, we should be proud of the progress that's been made. for decades, we've been building, operating, and maintaining the mississippi river and tributaries project.
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this project is made up of levies, floodways, channel improvements, and stablization of other structures such as dams. this year alone, the prompt protected more than 10 million acres and nearly one million structures and prevents more than $110 billion in damages. the country invested approximately 13.9 billion, and yet the project has direct lid prevented $350 billion in flood damages. in total, the return on investment has tremendous 34 to 1. i recognize that today's hearing is broad, and we'll hear from witnesses impacted by the floods as well as wnszs from the -- witnesses from the mississippi river valley. this is an opportunity to learn what went right, wrong, and how to improve the system and our plans for the next time. with that, i yield back. thank you, madam chair. >> well, thank you so much. senator. we're going to call the next panel up. the assistant secretary of the army of civil works, accompanied
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by major general walsh, colonel larson, and while you're getting seated, senator inhofe asked to respond to some comments of senator baucus, and i urged senator baucus to stay here in case we want back and forth on this before we turn. >> thank you, madam chair. i know it's difficult for people to resist the temptation to try to draw events in the weather taking place maybe this year or this week to the imloabl warming argument, and so what i have is three short statements, a sentence on each one from three alarmists who you know well, on your side of the issue -- >> your side or my side? >> your side. >> okay. >> the chair of the georgia institute technologies school of
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earth and sciences says, "i have been unconvinced by the arguments i have seen that attributes a single extreme weather event, a cluster of extreme weather events or statistics of extreme weather events to forcing". second is myles allen from oxford, 245 got a lot of publicity back during the climate game saying, "when al gore said last week that scientists now have clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms, and droughts that replaced the displaced millions of people this year, my heart sank." lastly, professor of the environmental studies at the university of colorado said, "to suggest that particular extreme weather events are evidence of climate change is not just wrong, but wrong headed." now, he goes on, and i ask
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unanimous consent to submit his statement -- >> sure, sure. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. well, i'm going to respond in this way. we have worked closely together on infrastructure, and we don't work closely together on climate change, so for the record, let me say i don't know anyone who's blaming what happened on climate change. i do know this. that that is exactly what the climate scientists -- we do have eyes, we do see what we see, so here's the thing. of course we don't know whether this is climate change. it takes a decade. it's not about the weather. it's not about day-to-day. one day we're going to see it very warm in the winter, i assure you, and one day it will be very cold. the last time it was cold, it was cold somewhere here, i remember, i think you built an igloo outside and invited al gore to come there, in the
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meantime, we were supposed to have the winter olympics. it was so hot up there they had to import snow. the bottom line is we don't know now. we will only know looking become on the decade. i do agree with what they say and what you're saying because i don't think, and on our side we're alarmists, but i think what we're saying is keep an eye on this. this looks like this is happening, but you can't tell until you're a decade out. i hope we're not going to ask any of our panelists to respond to the issue of climate change. this was my colleague giving his opinion which i value greatly because max baucus doesn't say things without a lot of thought, but so be it, we're divided on the panel. >> right, i would also comment too of al gore's speeches in new york were canceled because of snowstorms up there too, so i think we pretty much are in agreement on that.
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>> yeah, extreme weather it what was predicted. we 4r now turn -- will now turn to the non-controversial pam. we are very happy to see joe ellen darcy here, the assistant secretary of the army for civil works, and she has some very excellent and excellent team with her. would you proceed? >> thank you, senator boxer. senator boxer, senator inhofe, senator baucus, members of the committee. happy to testify about the 2011 flood events and the flood control systems. i'm joined by michael general walsh, and the president of the mississippi river commission, brigadier general, john mcmahon, general of the west division, and acting commander of the north atlantic division. 2011 have been challenges for the nation in terms of natural disasters across multistate
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areas. my testimony covers three events in which the corp. was greatly involved, the flooding on the mississippi river, the flooding on the missouri river, and the flooding caused by hurricane irene and tropical storm lee. these are not the only events in which the corp. responded and assisted. this year, the corp. supplemented state, local, and tribal efforts with 37 million sandbags, 342 pumps, 35 harks rolls of sheeting, barriers, and rapid deployment flood wall and issued 176 emergency contracts to protect critical infrastructure from flood threats. during the 1927 flood, the mississippi valley region had a happen hazard system of public and private levies confining the river. the result was 72% of the lower
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valley underwater. more than 26,000 square miles flood, 500 dead, and another 700,000 left homeless. after the 1927 flood, the nation funded the tributary systems with levies supplemented by reservoirs, flood ways, back water areas and channel improvements. during this year 2011 flood event, flood flows were greater than those experienced during the 1927 flood, but the mrnt project, though because of the project, only 38% of the area that flooded in 1927 flooded in 2011. not a single life was lost in the historic flood event. the bird's point floodway was operated on may 2, 2011 # and opening the two additional floodways sick newsed to manage the flows in the mississippi river basin preventing flooding of 9.9 million acres and
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preventing damage in excess of $26 million. three of the systems floodways were placed in simultaneous operation to relieve stress and reduce danger to people, their homes, and businesses. more than 800 personnel were involved with over $59 million in fema money assigned to the corp. under the stafford act. it kept the system in tact, and a water shed approach needs to restore it as well. the corp. invited seven states and ten federal agencies to help set priorities and plan a comprehensive approach to restoring the flood protection system. all share responsibility in the recovery efforts and by boling our resources, talents, and expertise, will focus on key elements to protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of americans. the flooding along the missouri river this year approximately doubled the historic record for water flows.
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the combined may through july runoff of 33.4 million acre feet made 2011 a record year. flood response efforts engaged over 400 personnel and cost $83 million. actions by the omaha and kansas city districts during the flooding this summer was effective in reducing damages. they fortified levy, built temporary levies, monitored safety and other activities like providing supplies to state emergency officesment. for example, in south dakota, they conducted approximately 1.5 miles of temporary levies. now that the river receded, they are initiates post-flood actions including assessing and repairing damaged levies and
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dams, assessing the damage during the flood, including an independent external review now underway in completing a technical review of the flood response. in late august and early september, extreme weather conditions can continued. hurricane arein traveled along the atlantic coast impacting the area from coastal north carolina to maine. just a week later, the remanents of tropical storm lee tracked up the gulf and flooded pennsylvania and the lower southern tier of new york state. although it was devastating and many areas where core projects exist, their operation by the corp. effectively reduced an estimated $6 million in damage of the residence of the northeast. the corp. continues to assess the extent of the damages to civil works project and non-federal projects eligible for assistance under our what's called the pl499 program.
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the corp. first used $46.6 million of the available funds within our flood control emergencies account for immediate flood fighting and response to the flooding. as the events continued, the corp. was unable to respond to the requirements from our available flood control funds. since may of 2011, the i have exercised my emergency authority provided under public law 8499 to transfer funds from other accounts to the flood control and merges appropriation's account to respond to flooding and address repairs for the ongoing disasters. to date, i authorized four transfers totally $212 million. the last transfer of $137 million allowed the court to address a portion of the highest priority, life and safety repair requirements. the corp. set up a rigorous process at head quarters level to examine the requirements and prioritize those requirements based on risk to life and safety
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among other parameters in other words to make the best use of available funds. i expect to have to authorize additional transfers of funds from other corp. accounts to the flood control and coastal emergency account in order to address the ongoing emergency needs. in conclusion, the corp. stands ready to respond to and assist in any recovery disaster as they occur. thank you. >> thank you very much. so, just so everyone knows, i will ask -- i will take my five minutes; then istle -- i'll hand the gavel over to senator who will conclude the hearing, and we'll ask questions based on order of arrival, so secretary darcy, the corp. is now facing the task of evaluating the condition of infrastructure after these dramatic 2011 flood events. does the corp. have adequate
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authority to undertake all the work it believes will need to be done. will added authority be needed 20 -- to facilitate postwok that will be needed? >> at this time, i don't believe we need additional authority. we are restricted by funding. >> will you let us know after discussing with your generals and your colonel, if we do, in fact, have to change the laws through the word of process and obviously the problem of funding is there. our hearing today focuses on three historic flood events in 2011. the federal response to each event was different, and i spoke into people in the corp., and i'll tell you, some of those challenges were extraordinary, and some of the responses were
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very, very, very tough, particularly major general walsh, we'll watch who you had to do and it was really tough to tell people who had had these farms for a long time, you're just going to have to work with us here because we need some place for this water to go, and i know how hard that was on you and your team, and i'm sure others were facing similar conflicts, so it's so important that we learn from the successes and the failures and so i would say, ms. darcy, in your analysis, what's the most important lessons we've learned from the 2011 floods? >> i think one of the most important lessons we learned is the coordination and communication we had not only within the federal agencies, but with the local governments. we had -- we also had a joint command center, one for the mississippi floods and missouri floods we had daily, updates not only from noaa and the weather service, but also the local
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communities as far as what to expect that day. i think the communication was great, and these also general walsh and general mcmahon now as a result of the floods set up task forces for response as to how we will work with our stake holders to determine what we can do to repair what damage has been done. >> did anything go wrong that you want to work on? >> i -- i don't want to ever say we didn't do anything wrong, but i think what we did do was operate the system as it was skinned to work, and by going with the design of the mrnt system as well as operating the missouri river as designed with our flood control dam that hay did work as designed. >> i'll leave it to others to ask about the manual, but thank you all so much for your heroic
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efforts and obviously, we have to, i hope find resources that we can't have a strong infrastructure without homes and businesses. it's a nightmare. >> thank you, i would say the same thing as the chairman as i had a chance do visit with secretary darcy. first, let me complement you and thank you for the time you spent helping us out of a situation, and i do appreciate it very much. the rest of you, you heard the question the chairman asked, you know, what lessons were learned. the other three of you want to make comments in terms of lessons learned as a result of this? >> yes, senator, and as the president of the mississippi river commission, i think one of the key items is system thinkings works, systems and investments work and systems leadership works, and as senator
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boozman mentioned, the tributary project, the nation invested $13.9 billion, putting that system together, and while it was only 89% complete, the system did work, as you heard in 1927, 500 people were killed, and in this flood, which was much larger, there were zero fatalities. i think systems thinking, systems investment, and systems leadership was very key in putting, in fighting the flood on the mississippi river, and i do have a statement from the mississippi river commission that i'll enter. >> okay. other two pretty much agree with what he said there? okay. ..
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that's a restriction that we have to contend with in missouri because through the month of january are about the middle of april, there is ice on the river. as though, but there's no plaque in the plains of melting, the ice on the river restricts the amount of water we can release from the west of ours. so that the compound in fact we had to do with each and every year. we did watch the snow in the mountains accumulate and we were increasing releases each month accordingly to accommodate, and make the space for their growing snowpack in the mountains. but we did not anticipate of course was the rain has benefited to that began in the
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middle of may. in may was the third-highest month on record for a runoff in the n. june was the first and july was the fifth highest. so three consecutive months of rain just was the wild card that we did not anticipate. nobody could anticipate it. and that is what caused us to increase releases up to 160,000 cubic feet per second at kevin's point and subsequently the damage that has occurred as then. it's been a five-month going to find has been mentioned. but we were doing -- taking prudent actions on the basis of the information we had at the time and i think the independent external panel that has been formed to look into all these matters and either validate or challenge the decisions that we've may demand a code word to
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the outcome of that report in december commissary. >> okay, and the other six of the questions that would be asked by senators to, mr. chairman, i'll submit answers in the record. thank you. >> senator baucus. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary darcy can he last appeared here, i asked the core to reassess the situation, not to reassess the levees. you said you take that under consideration, you would consider reassessing that decision not to pay. you tell me now the result is that reassessment? >> reassessment -- the results are that we will continue to not
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appeal to pay for it the assessment for certification of the levees and the server knows we have budget constraints and it's one of those missionaries that we will not be able to fulfill. >> do you have a sense of the hardship it causes these communities, miles city, granddad, great falls? many communities have to have floodplain maps. they have to have them certified. earlier party 2008 the court did pay for certification. suddenly the core with true, leaving these communities and having the resources to make sure they get certification of levees so that the maps can be -- can delineate and be -- so
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that people cannot they live in an area that has a certified levy. >> senator, what we are doing is working with fema to better coordinate the timing of when their maps every time and when the certification for their flood insurance program would be required. we also are providing information from our inspections. we do an annual inspection and inspection every five years of levees in the core program. we provide that information to the local love the sponsor for that lovely. we also develop to let the database up and running so that anyone can plug in a set code and find out where the levy is and what its condition is. so we're providing more information to the locals. >> i appreciate that, but i urge you to go back and we can enter because in a way to corp. it for certification in the levees were built, committees relied on them in the court pulled the plug. i just urge you to go back and
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find some accommodation at the very released in financing certification is getting expensive. at least small communities can't afford it. >> we will look at it again, senator. >> i'm serious. you can't beat something with nothing. so try to find some compromise, some something. maybe draw the line somewhere to make some sense and helps out to some degree. i've produce legislation is now given the core authority in certification and we've just got to find some being. you can't stonewall like obvious metaphors and levees and don't golf pulled the plug. we've got to go back and visit them. i just like to ask a general question. it struck me that one of the reasons there's so much fighting
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is not just rainfall. it saw the dams and levees that built along them, missouri, mississippi was very channeling, which caused the river do not flow out into wetlands, cause severe to be faster, more violent, more force and raises many, many questions about what plain insurance, where people should live, not and whether we keep coming you know, wetlands are not. in adults i'm told they are very important to wildlife and fisheries and so forth in the more that sell tickets at about, i don't know i could be wrong, but some of the channeling reduces some of the wetlands in adults -- mississippi delta as
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well. could you or any of your ex. comment on the degree to which financing the question -- the degree to which channeling does it have to be the problem here flooding? >> senator, i will take a stab in the next think general walsh would like to respond as well. we are currently looking at some of the impacts of the project on wetlands. in particular, in louisiana we are looking at a possible diversion projects that could take some of the sand and the sentiment out of the river for wetlands restoration. so you know, there is some impact when you try to tame a river. there is going to be impact from what you are doing from that channelization. >> could you comment on the master manual? it is a subject of huge controversy or huge centers for the state said it looked at it and talk to the core about it many times, including myself.
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over many years, my sense is that we should be careful here before changing the provisions, the master manual spirit as i listen to you, it sounds like the discretion all authority in the court does to account for emergencies as we experience this year. >> we do in the missouri river master manual, there is some provision for emergency. however, revisions need to go through a public press as good as you may recall, the last time it took 14 years and $33 million. >> i recall that. it is very frustrating because because if anyone wants to change the manual for its reasons, i got been during that period would like to see the manual change to protect upstream recreation. again, the corps had to study
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back then they showed the economic value of the upstream recommendation far outweigh the economic value of managing the dams and river for large traffic drowned stream, tenfold, something like that. and i've been working on this for years and years and years. 14 yourself like a long time to change a master manual. but ideal agree with an implication in your response, namely that these cannot be changed willy-nilly. it takes time and thought to look at lots of different factors and decide what is the proper balance. >> that's correct or the public process needs to be on any changes to it and i said earlier and general mcmahon brought up the fact that operations center
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in the flood event in whatever recommendations they have, we'll consider. >> i appreciate that. thank you very much. >> senator johanns. >> let me just thank all of you for being here today. lastly, if i make in my questions, focus on kind of what we are anticipating as we think about this winter and going into next spring. correct me if i am wrong, but it seems to me that the conditions at the capacity in the system is about where was a year ago. secondly, it appears to me that throughout this stretch in the system, we've had some unusually wet weather cleared the third thing that occurs to me is that the current -- it ain't is
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anticipated currently it that the release is not significantly increase. in fact, there is going to be a cow level for the foreseeable future at least into next year. all of this leads me to believe and there's probably something things i'm not mentioning, but all of this leads me to believe that we are kind of working our way right back to where we were a year ago in any circumstance, heavy or snowmelt, heavy rain will put us right back to where we were. maybe general mcmahon, i'll start with you. where am i wrong about this? >> senator connie thank you for the question. it is pat foale of information, background information relevant here to understand it as you are alluding to. first of all, looking at the way
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ahead, the system is more vulnerable next year, now that was last year. so we've got to be very careful to use senator dr. seuss words insofar as how we take it an inch at time between now and when they ran off season begins on the first of march 2012. we made a conscious decision at the end of july and i made the rounds on the hills here and touched base with many -- even many of your colleagues on this very critical tradition point, which was we decided we needed to evacuate the 16.3 million-acre feet of water that has been the system designed since the system was built because to do more, to evacuate more water would take away the time that we needed to get the water out of the flood
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plane, out of farms, out of homes, out of businesses for people to get back in to and begin to repair the reconstitution, if you will, as well as for the core, federal highways, states, counties and cities to do the same thing. to get into their infrastructure and inspect and begin the repair process. if we were to evacuate more water and create more in the reservoir this year, would not have given ourselves even not opportunity for the water to drain and inspection and repair process to begin. i was a very hard decisions come a delicate decision that had to be made because of the huge volumes of water that needed to be evacuated and only evacuated because of the release we and the time available. we are now past that point. we've seen finally the declaration is the end of the flood has occurred. and so now, we are at the point where inspection and repairs can
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begin our contingent upon the funding. as has been noted it, we have moved money inside the core to get that repair process jumpstarted in the inspection process jumpstarted and that is going well. we are going to quickly come to a point in time for funding will be that the constraint in addition to time available. given vulnerabilities we have in the system next year, we've got to get on with the repairs and that was the trade-off we made. we decided we needed to evacuate back to the amount of water that we normally have. now with respect to other evidence of life that is the prudent decision, we look at the climatological prediction center is at the national oceanographic and administration center of expertise for predicting weather, both near and long-term towelettes that the remainder of 2011 and 2012 are equal chances with normal, above and below
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weather patterns. we have the media and more toward the missouri river basin means cooler temperature and it's very hard to correlate precipitation, both snowpacked dangling on the basis of the la niña phenomenon. so if the evidence points to the fact that this is approximately one in 500 year event. very low likelihood of occurring again. and it's not an improbability, but it's a low probability. nobody can see the future here as you well know. so given all that evidence, it made sense to us to evacuate the water to 16.3 million-acre feet of space and to take advantage of the time available pending funding to get on with the repairs and reduce the vulnerabilities that exist in the system as much as they can between now and the first of march. >> thank you. senator whitehouse.
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>> thank you, chairman cardin. ms. darcy, you were last here in march. and after you came, i asked questions for the record. and we never got an answer to them. i don't know why. it's been quite a while and they were quite simple questions. one was how much funding is currently available for section two of five project. i assume somebody in the corner is the question just a sending that e-mail to sp or the other is whether the funding will allow for new projects or whether it's fully subscribed. again, i assume somebody knows than information and so i don't have been asking for exhaustive researcher complicated analysis to be done. they just seem to have their questions answered. the third is whether the army corps is planning for any increase in the section 205 project did request and what are
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you doing to prepare for that? can i have your firm pledge right now is to not get answers to those questions from april? >> yes, senator. >> went? >> we will have been before the week is out. >> perfect. i appreciate it. then he had a new one and that is the transfers that you refer to in your testimony and brigadier general mcmahon alluded to today affect the section 205 account? >> transfers we are looking at are all available funding because we have to look at everything nationwide across all of their business plans. but in the 205 program specifically, i don't know if we've taken any from there, but i will provide that for the record as well. one thing i do know is when we -- when i was here last march, but after that he had our continuing revolution and were famous after that.
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part of the instruction from the congress was to take a hundred million dollars of our carryover from our continuing authorities program and that was rescinded. >> it is interesting to me that the senator from a small new england state two years some of the discussion from their western colleagues, where it is clear the army corps has a very large footprint and controls an enormous amount of what goes on in terms of flooding and flight control. we have danced that probably predates the army corps of engineers in rhode island and we are packed for municipalities that are hundreds of years old and it's a complex situation to work your way through all of that. i don't think it's clear even who owns or controls. they are tearing they've been there for however long. so, my question is beside flooding mark chirico in rhode island.
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that's pretty extreme. 500 year flood conditions reached in certain areas. and we don't seem to have a plan for how the different upstream dams can work with one another to perform the kind of brain collection function, particularly if rain is anticipated so we can minimize the flooding that they can become catch many areas for an anticipated flood. what authorities do you have or do you need? when texas coast guard filled with dirt and filth because of the fighting coming you had to go and clean it out to clear the navigable waterways. do you own the problem at the backend. what can you be doing with us at the front and to help the water play third, management, very centrist agencies work together
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so that we are doing our release control in an integrated way that helps with flood control detection? >> used the word i was going to use. it is clear that the dams were built just years ago would not in a way that was a system designed. the integrated water resources management is what needs to take place in order for the dams on the way to perform for a flood control purpose, but other impacts that will have a navigation downstream. so i think an integrated water management plan for that either stretch of river you are referring to for this dance is probably what is needed. the corps of engineers some expertise in that area. so i'd been working we can provide a technical assistance authority. >> the caucus a&m within five minutes over. >> the senator is directly on
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time. >> thank you for your cooperation. senator alexander. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for coming. general walsh, the mississippi river literally try to cut a new channel across the island and did the same in north county, and this is the type of damage that threatens navigation against the entire mississippi river and could shut down the inland waterways if we don't prepare it. in memphis, the damage on the port of memphis, which is home to tv power plant states only refinery in industries that have 4500 jobs as extent it is. it's expected to cost 35 million not for the topping. millions more for the repairs stretching for business. and lake county, the corn makes 32 million needed to repair the topping to keep mississippi from trying to change course during the next five.
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my question is, what would happen if the mississippi river he did cut a new channel for president islands -- president .. this? how would that affect navigation on the mississippi river? and what is the priority that the corps has for completing those repairs? >> sodium packs -- thank you for the question, senator. the impacts would be significant to the mississippi river. this is not the only topic erosion we have on the mississippi. and if we lose the direction of flow of the week because it goes into this over bank erosion is about $60 million worth of infrastructure that would be bypassed. but this is a very significant problem that we need to work on.
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and it is at priority two id., priority or life safety and right below that is priority to them that believe this is the second one in the priorities efforts that we need to get accomplished. >> thank you, general. secretary, the floods that affected everything from opryland around nashville to memphis, i urge the court to work with the national weather service to create a warning system for fun that was as good as our tornado warning system. now, i know that it is harder -- the predicting rising wonders not the same as predicting the arrival of the tornado. the fact is that over the last 10 years or so the weather service, the corps and others
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have taken those system and made iraqi list improvements. i mean, people can turn on the television sets in the within 13 and a half minutes, turning it is coming down their street. that's pretty precise. we had some problems in 2010, which the corps admitted in dealing with adequate communication about raising water to businesses and individuals can in nashville all the way down to memphis. in many tennesseans felt it had they had better information, they could have avoided a lot of damage. now we have gone more than a year now since i asked the court to work with the weather service to create a warning system for flood that was more like the tornado warning system. what is then the progress on not and what successes have you had with? >> senator, i know that we are
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working on it. i don't know exactly what i can report to you today, but i will most definitely get that to you. as soon as possible. i just don't know enough details. >> following senator whitehouse example, can ask for reasonable date when you make it back to me? two weeks will be fine. you can do his first in my next the pier at how would be? but i'm quite serious it is building on a success at the corps had. even as the result of the discussions we had come away with the next raise them under circumstance, there is lot better communication because the corps and the national mayor and others put themselves in the same room and communicative one another. so i'm now more interested not just tonight, but how do you take the same information and get it out to businesses and people that might be in the way of the rising water? i hope we can have the same mix
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success for flood warnings, which are as others have said a larger part of our damage than any of you kind of disaster or success with that just as the district attorney to warnings. thank you, mr. chairman. >> secretary darcy, in response to senator boxer, you indicated the court doesn't need new authority to respond to the 2011 flood repairs. although, you don't need new authority for repairs, does the corps needs reauthorization to do with other merchants the issues? >> senator, there are emerging issues all the time. this is just something that i think we are going to need to deal with in the future, not particularly the subject of this hearing, but the way that we finance a lot of our project is going to have to be looked at. we currently don't have enough money and some of our trust fund
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so were going to have to look at new ways to recapitalize some of those kinds of things that we would need authorization to do. >> and i think our company supports an obvious that we were close vs to have these emerging issues require congressional participation. pecora manages the levels beyond the talents are not sjoberg versus done by using the train, et cetera appeared on the atlantic coors to use natural beach and in systems to protect the town of ocean city. as a set in the statement, the punishment work that was done near bear save significant property damage is a problem lee and irene -- it has been estimated not counting the damage as a result of the recent forms, $250 million have been
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face to property damage is is the cause of what we call the green infrastructure that's been used along the atlantic. my question to you is should they invest in that sense and routine wienerschnitzel beach system and those so-called systems to manage risk in the future. the next senator, i think your examples are good ones because they show that yes indeed the beach refreshment programs have been affect even replenishing the beach as well as being a storm reduction way of preventing future damages. >> i just point out that budgeting here becomes challenging because i know you are really being stretched as far as your prejudice can turn. but on the screen infrastructures, it is demonstrated that it saves money. if this property damage for people in the region. i think the more we can use some of these natural areas, the
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better off its going to be for saving the loss of life and property. so i know it's challenging, but we urge you to find creative ways to do this. let me ask one final question. the chorus multiple responsibilities come if they do property in support of commercial waterway traffic. to these missions conflict? and do we need to reflect to cannot sue how you can carry a permission simultaneously? >> senator, i would say they don't conflict, but they do compete for resources. as pointed out in the instance that the flood, we need to prioritize their resources related safety in this instance. as they say, they compete for resources a limited resource. >> well, seems like many seems to be a problem right now. clearly we have challenges in trying to manage demand for commerce as well as cheap life
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and property. and i was listening to senator boxer's comments, not on the river diversions, but about priorities. it seems to me we may need to reflect as to what our priorities are and to allocate resources consistent with that. they're going to be limited resources for the foreseeable future. with that, let me turn it over to senator guzman. >> thank you, senator cardin. i may follow up on essentially talking about resources. again, secretary darcy and general walsh, i understand secretary d'arcy, they use exercise to emergency authority to transfer funds from other appropriations accounts to respond to the flood and begin doing the repairs, which again is quite appropriate. i guess what i'd like to know if some examples of the kind of
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projects that may suffer as a result and all so really some specifics about what resources we actually need so that the court can repair the damage that for instance, the mississippi river, tributaries project are ready for the next flood season so we don't have you here then after that's all over complaining bitterly that it didn't work. so if you'd respond. before you do respond, i want to thank all of you. i know you worked very hard in this is really thin a great trial in the system how the very, very well. again, those things don't happen. that's a lot of hard work. secretary darcy. >> senator, we are currently assessing what ultimate damages have been in mississippi and
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missouri as well as the damages from tropical storm and hurricane irene. we are looking at $2 billion that we need in order to repair and restore the system should preflight conditions. your question about the transfers, so far we transferred 212 million from other accounts into flood control and coastal emergency account. we will continue to look at other ways to transfer money. we had monthly requirement that we have to fulfill because the emergency response. we look into all programs within the core. however, we are evaluating those dollars individually so that we don't create a situation where we are taking it away from another life safety project. we are looking in the out years resort the end of 2012 to take the money that won't be spent until then the fanatic binger transferring out for the
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immediate need. >> thank you rematch with the question. senator, while we were working for the flood, we authority put together a damage survey assessment teams so as to what i was going down, we were able to look at those parts they need to repair the mississippi river tributary project. from that how we put together a list of 90 prioritize portions of the mississippi river that needs repair and that comes to about $800 million just for those repairs. put another team together to look at the system's performance. that system's performance team is also looking at the fund needed to bring that together. as well as putting together an the recovery task force with the seven states and 14 federal agencies, gathering together to see what resources to put the
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system back together and make sure everybody understands where we are going to work with that. today, there are $73 million came to the mississippi river tributaries are my division out of the country required. so there is a concern of a flood of a lesser magnitude have been significant impacts for next year. >> thank you. and again, that type of work is so important as they go forward. i think you have heard a lot of ventures in really trying to get that information so we can be of help through award a bill or whatever. i do think chairman, that the communication back and forth would be so important so we can move forward and get this staff accomplished. thank you very much. i yield that. >> senator vitter.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. and thanks to all of you for your work and service, particularly in this extraordinary flood event in this disaster. i just want to step back and make sure we have the big picture. none of secretary, but is a total estimate of damage from the serious flooding events from the core of in terms of all repair work that is necessary because of all extraordinary crouching et cetera. what with the total dollar figure b.? >> that the $2 billion that includes the impacts from judging as well. >> when amount of money as the administration not to in terms of extraordinary appropriations amendment that? >> at the moment, there is no request for a supplemental put a shame. >> i thought some core funding
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was already built-in to an appropriation requests we had to the tune of about $800 million now. >> i don't believe so, senator, but i will check. >> okay. what is the administration's plan in terms of any extraordinary funding request? >> at this time, there's not a plan for one, but hopefully still going to be under consideration. >> so as of now, $2 billion just has to come out to in terms of ongoing projects, ongoing operations. >> that's correct. >> is that sustainable? >> we have to do these repairs come as so we have to find the money somewhere. we're going to have to have everything has to be on the table. as i said, were looking to bow your project and the things that
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are scheduled to be funded until next year, but we are running out of those kinds of projects and it's going to come from some other existing balances. so we're trying to be created in looking at that. while so looking up what we currently are operating under the continuing resolution to see if there's any money in that from now until november that we can use. >> so it's no supplemental request is made, what with the top priority items that would be stolen from and that would be sacrificed? was worded things at the top end of the list in terms of priorities needs and projects? >> they would be projects, as i said, finding is not scheduled until the end of next year, so we take the money and use it now the types of project are all projects are under consideration. the ones that we will probably satisfy those lacy tee.
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>> okay, in your testimony commend secretary, you also refer to a document to serve as a reference guide for flood risk management, close quote. when you took that to be concluded? >> the document you are referred to as to have baby and of december, but it would need to confirm that for you. >> okay, if you confirm that for me. but that document incorporate the past years experience? obviously, we have a wealth of training data, particularly in terms of the mississippi river system that by definition is set to date as possible in terms of an extraordinary event this past year. so will that no information, new data be incorporated into this document by the end of this year?
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>> yes. >> and that will be the new operating manual moving forward? >> know, senator. it won't be for missouri fats which are referring to or for the mrt. >> what is the process to update the operating manual in both cases? with the timetable for that? >> i'm going to defer to general mcmahon and general walter mississippi. >> thank you, senator. , there are several means to make adjustments to how the system. annually we go through what we call the annual operating process. a nun as a public process that begins next monday in omaha. we will conduct a series of eight public meetings in each of the recent states. and that will feed our immediate plans for how we anticipate an
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assist in through the 12 -- calendar year 12. the master manual that was alluded to earlier is the document that asked that the annual operating plan and the document that fundamentally advocates across eight authorized purposes how water is allocated to meet those eight authorized purposes. but as a public process. with discretionary authority to address that on a short-term. a one-year basis, the longer term we need to go through a public process. >> i do want to cut you off, but my time is basically a. in general, what is the timetable for updating that the manual? >> it will fundamentally depend, that the independent external review of the water management exploration will help us to decide whether or not to undertake every vision into a
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scope is go based on recommendations from that panel. >> isn't a preliminary evidence pretty strong given this extraordinary event and given very new data, that this is the moment in time you would want to a date the manual? >> as commissary. it was say we have a new hydrological data point that makes us take that into consideration very seriously. >> a real proud rush, but realistic timeframe for updating the long-term manual? >> it's hard to say, but i would say anywhere from one to ask series. >> x is pretty open-ended. >> i just want to point out that that gives us the possibility of many additional flood seasons with inarguably outdated manual and given the extraordinary nature of this recent events, i would encourage a real focus on
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that date in the long-term manual relatively quickly. >> yes commissary. >> lemmie thank you for not only a testimony appearance here today, but for your service to our country. we know please are trying times and we appreciate the professionalism in which you operate these very stressful issues. so thank you again and that will complete this panel. we will now turn to our next panel. we have a number of ventures represented a broad national purse ideas as well as representatives from across the impacted region. i welcome.her gerald galloway at the university of maryland. very proud to have a person for a university of maryland. mr. larry larsen, director of the association of state floodplain managers. mr. buzz mattelin, president of
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the lower missouri resource management council and president of the montana association of conservation districts. mr. terry gene, ocean city maryland erfurt to in my opening comments. captain mike lorino, president of the associated brands pilots. mr. brianne dunnigan, department of national resources and may your a.c. wharton, memphis tennessee. i thank you for your patience has to you tried to condense your opening comments to three to four minutes. we'll go a minute over if you need to. the reason is we need to adjourn the hearing by a quarter of one. with that in mind, we will start first with dr. galloway. >> thank you or much, mr. chairman. i will try and go very quickly. the disastrous floods of 2011
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impacted many parts of the country. while that's a critical focus, i'd like to talk about and where we go with was the mighty defensive move forward it on the two comments about testimony we've heard from secretary darcy in the core leaders. it's interesting on the missouri river the issue of how it is to be operated by senator baucus pointed out is the subject of much discussion. one report that said the answer lies here in the with a resolution of conflict of in laws and regulations indicted on how to up date. the second part of that is the court case in 1994 or 2004, where a federal judge looked at the competition for the uses and made the decision that the congress needed to do something about that. so there are two issues of management of mystery that requires work up here. i would note that other than the mississippi river tributaries project in the tba, miami, ohio,
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the situation does not have a flight control system. we've talked about that company is returned. we don't have a national core object differ flood risk management. i'm the change sea level rise will make that even worse. i'm late to give you a few thoughts on where we should go. i use the term flood risk management and set of flood control because across the globe ever in the world there's a shift from focusing on reducing flood damages by trying to control and in the long run only three portfolio is the just mentioned agreement nonstructural infrastructure plus the normal structure infrastructure can be minimized to reduce the damages. flood risk management also accepts the proposition that absolute protection is not possible. even the dutch have come to this realization. let me highlight a few reasons why the approach we take is not up to the task of faith.
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i have four major points of quickly go through. first in a 1994 white house study after the great mississippi flood, i have been to the custody of the work the same committee. we pointed out the vocals and objectives in their efforts to do with floods and the responsibility for how we manage flood is scattered between the federal state and local governments and is not well defined. clearly we need to address the issue and come as some sort of the solution is to his response will for what appeared in 2007 company directed secretary of the army to revise principles and guidelines to reflect new flood related policies you included nearly four years later that hasn't reached the hill. as an local i respond ability for land-use management and many do little to stem development and that continues to have his areas. in most cases, states have been
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singularly absent from the management and oversight of levees. it's enough to the federal government for their involvement in overstated in safety. the vigil property owners to share responsibilities much as they should. the abysmal participation of the flood plane, even when it's mandatory somewhere near 25% penetration indicates floodplain residents don't see a need for them to carry part of the responsibility. the second issue, we face significant flood risk and many people who live in the flood plane do not understand or appreciate the risk they face. we do not know or don't seem to be willing to find out the national exposure to the risk of flooding. technology would permit us to do this if those resource. dirt, much populated set behind or below uncork needed to malcolm a federal state and local levies but damned that condition and integrity of which may not be known. estimates indicate 100,000 mounds of levees in this country. only 14,000 of which fall under the corps of engineers is
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another form of federal oversight. the american society of civil engineers in the 2000 report design phase of d- and there is no indication to the picture getting any better. four years ago in 2007 company recognized in the urgency of the situation establish a levee safety program and directed national committee and that the safety to look after the situation and make recommendations as the congress of 180 days. in january 2009, they turned in their report to the administration. it's not been officially sent to you. nonactive even though the report is available to you. in essence, nothing done at the national level to move ahead on the well-thought-out recommendations of this committee that do require active state and local involvement. the third part of the levey and dan challenges funding. the congress and administration must come to the infrastructure. pse suggested would be a five-year $50 billion burden to do with levees that we heard
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some about this morning for a 5 billion five-year program for dan safety. doing nothing increases the problem and puts more people at risk every day. if levees, dams and flood malls and other structures are made part of the approach, then they've got to be in resources must be identified and provided within a federal state local private partnership to ensure what is in place one fact to its job. every day the sun the sun in his post on common the. fourth, were not in the flood issues. we talked about watershed and integrated management. a flood related project among community can cause problems upstream and downstream. congress continues to authorize individual projects without fully understanding watershed contacts. that's not the right way to go. >> we have to ask you to complete your statement. spirit will conclude by saying flood risk presented john thune about for two decades. it's time to do something about it. thank you drainage.
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>> for all of your statements will be included in its entirety in the record. >> mr. larsen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> is a non? thank you for holding this hearing. no truncated by remarks. first, i want to hope that the committee recognizes come as jerry said, had our system is really an amount of nation. it's dams and levees, but its programs in various federal agencies that we talk about fema, the nac initiative programs, on and on and on. and then you throw in 22,000 flood communities in 50 states who are the one who have prime responsibility for reducing flood losses in protecting public safety. the reason mishmash of activities that's going on in the nation that comprises what we think of as our system. in 2008, in my view, we dodged a
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bullet. you can look at it two ways. we talked a lot today about what worked. i think it's important to recognize a lot of the so-called systems are really on the edge. we were very close to catastrophe. we are very close to katrina in many instances. some of the reasons for that senator baucus typed about take the mississippi river, two thirds of nature's floodplains. and then we wonder how we can constrain these maximum extreme flood event during those times of heavy flooding. when she tries to reclaim the flood clean. in the northeast as we talked about, there's many different systems. there's not as many systems as individual projects. most are operated, not coordinated and i'm not sure
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that's all that. it's just the way it is for me to recognize that. the question for 2011 is whether these funds are at stake. the answers they were. i hate to tell you that, but they weren't. we need to recognize they weren't and now we're going to see more and more of these kinds of events. what is called the thousand year event in nashville or the next 40 years with a couple more of this event, it's also based on statistics and a pass on the become a 100 year flood. do these things change over time. we need to recognize that. our current systems and programs to policies and practices are inadequate. we need to recognize that. i think this year we really had a total of that. 2011 was a polo event. but he mentioned four things quickly that i think you can dress its overarching differences. first the comprehensive review of earlier with alice these 20
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and 50 years from now to assessing the nation's infrastructure is ready to go for you are, how many people are at risk and the rest, finishing up the png. four, established the national policy framework for flood risk management. i think that's an important element. how we manage dams and levees and customers can all happen under this rubric of a flood risk management approach. it's not the control. it's risk management and we need to think about how we do that. we have many other recommendations or testimony with these to work with to help make the nation morse is t-mobile and recognize the cost and benefits from funding. >> thank you, mr. larson. >> chairman cardin, members of the committee and the third generation montana farmer. echo jerome read and templeton
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burghley and sugar beets on missouri river bottoms the northeast montana. a family for 97 years has been living and working on the river eating mass downstream of four pack, the first dam on the missouri river system. in addition to running the farm business i also represent irrigation interests on the missouri river recover implementation committee known as mr. rick. this is a difficult summer dealing with the flood and watching floodwaters drown my crops. my heart goes out to all those that suffered flood damage especially those who damage to their homes. conditions responsible for the 2011 missouri river flooding began in the fall of 2010. fall rains resulted in soils prior to presence doesn't allow moisture for multi-note that entered the soda water and stuff. record-setting snowfall, 300% bolted and ran off filling every button and in over half of four pack single flood control zone. when the record rain came in
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may, excel and saturated soils and all ran off. the mountains snowpack could continue to grow and reached 141% of average. a combination of conditions resulted in record flooding of 2011. but could've improved flood response? for the recognition of the fight could've improved response. i don't blame the court. the wife of years in income and understand what it's like to be at the mercy of nature. the court could not have foreseen the record rainfall. it's easy to judge it in a fit of hindsight. it's easy to work backwards when he got the run winnie the pooh runoff totals. it's much harder nature keeps her in my water your way. the misery we premaster manual states consider significant lead can be recognized and appropriate releases of flow scheduled in improvement in overall flood control can be achieved. early recognition may flood management flexibility or decreased maximum releases. average runoff about sioux city, iowa's 24.8 million-acre feet
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and by september it ended up 61 million-acre feet. operational flood tunnels that four pack would've increased safety during the flood to flood tunnels are not available for use because of severe vibration that he gave. some of the other day and still would shut for inspection. this wasn't an option of four pack. authority has been requested for a place that, but not approved here but worked well? the mainstream dams and strictures performed as designed in the outbreeding system in accordance with the manual and existing laws or the system of florida downstream residents time to repair plan in the possession from harms way and the system lessons severity of the flood. the national weather service river forecast was extremely helpful. the forecast predicts teaches that gauging stations five days forward. let's not overreact to track
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changes to the master manual. doesn't make to manage system for an event that occurs once in 500 years. master manual foundation for long-term decisions and invest and come up with private and public but the well-funded revision completed in 2003, the master manual has provided 50 years of stability in a contentious basis. master manual provides an equitable management the system for flood control hydropower navigation and water supply irrigation and recreation wildlife. they can think of two ways to improve flood control in the basin first is to provide more space and reservoirs, the last word spotter at a detriment to other authorized purposes. my choice in the second is to improve recognition of significant events. the annual operating plan begins each new year at normal or average starting point when we rarely ever have an average year. the good job of incorporating mountains snowpack in the plain
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snowpack and short-term participation, but fails to use failure post like moisture and trends. soil moisture is readily available. we should also look at el niño and whining at events. you overlay the best of tyburn appears, there are definite correlation during the high run a fierce in the 70s, 90s and this year. cystic oscillation is another ocean temperature phenomena that shows promise as a predictor of precipitation in the northern plains. we also need to ensure adequate funding for u.s. stream gauges. as federal budgets have tightened, to share the partner's increase. the usgs gauges are a critical flood control and can't be dependent on sources of funding. i close by something he farmers red side dealing with the flood. he said the river's been good to me for many years, but this year
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belongs to the river. >> thank you. mr. dean. >> thank you. the title should cities a three hour drive east of here on the barrier island on the atlantic coast of maryland. the defensive city population is only about 7000, we host of 8 million visitors each year and on average weekend our population is 300,000 people. this makes ocean city the second largest city in maryland in the summertime. oceans are these 10 miles long and encompasses a total area of 3.5 square miles. within small area we have 20,000 living units valued at over $10 billion. as the barrier island community, our greatest risk is ocean flooding from tropical in extra tropical storm events. nhc five, tropical storm as just a short ocean city. the storm destroyed the ocean city boardwalk in damage to undermine the foundation of numerous buildings have virtually no dune system after gloria peered ocean city was at a crossroads.
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it was right around this time the punishment he can recognize start she and the project was completed in proving to be very successful. the study showed at the beach platform could be stabilized, then a positive cost-benefit ratio for a drill participation in the project could occur. to that end, the local and state governments completed what became known as phase one of the beach replenishment project using 100% local funds. the ocean city beach was fighting to create a suitable foundation for federal project. in 1890, the project known as the atlantic coast of maryland protection project began construction. ..
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>> although the prevented damage numbers are impressive, they don't tell the whole story. prior to replenishment, the aseesble -- assessable base was $35 million, and today, the assessable base is over $10 billion, and over $85 million in tax revenue comes
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from the city annually. on saturday, august 28th, ocean city was literally in the eye of the hurricane. you can see us there, and you can see hurricane arein. the storm came in the busy summer season, and we successfully evacuated the town. on sunday, assent out the damage assessment teams but other than toppled buildings, we found lose sidings and a pothole. noon sunday, businesses were open, businesses streamed back into town, and it was the busiest labor day weekend. in some ways we were lucky, the storm passed quickly, but i call your attention to this photograph taken in ocean city 25 years ago just after gloria, a storm very similar to irene. now, imagine we never had beach replenishment. we would start from this point and have 25 years of erosion at
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two feet a year. that would have been the condition of ocean city or what was left of us as irene struck. now, look at ocean city today. this photo shows the same beach last week. these prompts work. irene served as a reminder 245 the damages from a our cane are not limited to the coast. it demonstrated by recognizing the risk corkedded with -- associated with strong storms and adopting building codes and investing in flood protection measures, the impact of the storms can be significantly reduced. thank you very much. >> thank you. captain? >> thank you, mr. chairman. good evening. mr. chairman, before i touch on some concerns with the 2011 high water situation on the mississippi river system, i'd like to thank the corp. new orleans district for doing a great job not only this year, but in past years as well.
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when the corp. district is funded adequately and equipped adequately, they do a fantastic job. mr. chairman, this brings me to my primary issue. how can we adequately fund the corp.'s budget to properly maintain the mississippi river system? i can assure this committee it is well within all of our best interests to collaborate and solve this problem. combined, the five ports on the mississippi river system make up the largest port system in the u.s.. the second largest in the world. more than 10,300 vessels transited going in or out of the river system in 2010. each of those vessels were safely navigated through one of the most treacherous and demanding river systems in the world. failure to properly maintain southwest pass to project dimensions is a safety issue for all of us who live and work on the river system, but just as
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importantly, it is a substantial economic threat to our nation. we handle, mr. chairman, 30% of the nation's oil imports, 60%-70% of the nation grain exports. those numbers can be reduced drastically without proper maintenance of the shipping channel. the issue is complex, but the bottom line is simple. without adequate funding for dredging and maintenance, you cannot get american-made and grown goods on ships for export with high river conditions. the demand of the products exist, but if shipping companies cannot access american goods, they will go elsewhere. i don't have to tell you what that means for our farmers, millions of individual jobs, and our nation's economic bottom line. the problem today comes from two sources, constant underfunding of the corp. budget and the
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misuse of the trust fund of which it was instituted to ensure a necessary funding ports and harbors. for the past 12 # years, the new orleans district has been underfunded in the om budgets and next year under funded by $20 # million once again if nothing goes wrong like another high river, for example. to their credit, for the past 12 year, the mississippi valley division has understood how critical the mississippi river system is. they ri programmed funds from other projects to accommodate necessary drudging. reprogramming our funds will no longer occur. the court now operates under a white paper restricting funding usage, and this new policy eliminates the possibility of dredging enough to maintain project dimensions at a particular time.
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in one of the many meaning i had on this issue, i discussed their economic impact associated with cargo loss and the response was, it will be shipped from other ports in the u.s.. mr. chairman, that's not correct. this is very inaccurate. when i further stated we could have a grounding or even an oil spill, i was told maybe something has to bring this issue to life. this brings me to serious concerns that the change in the corp.'s policy regarding funding does not reflect sufficient priority to the mississippi river system. instead, it appears to be a more about political posturing in an effort to garner further necessary funding for the corp.. we are being used as a pawn in a very dangerous game. mr. chairman, this is not an acceptable way to manage the busiest and most complex water way system in the u.s. and
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possibly the world. please refer to the slide presentations that we have. i would like to review the diagrams that demonstrate the impact of loss project dimension depth and width, the possibility of a collision in southwest pass, which could shut off american's heartlands. mr. chairman, the first one is, if you would look there and see where the red meets the yellow, that is the entrance to american heartlands. if that area is closed, everything shuts off, everything, nothing moves in and out the river system. next one. that is two ships massing in a normal channel. you have # 00 feet between those two ships, 300 feet between two ships that are about 1,000 feet long and 150 feet wide. when you reduce the channel, mr. chairman, from 750 to 650, you
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can see it goes down to 195 feet wide, very narrow. number five, 600 to 500, we now have 100 feet to pass those two ships as was done last year. when you get down to 400 feet, mr. chairman, it's not a safe situation at all, but it's been done because we have to keep our river system open, but the fact that just because we lose project draft and dimension is a safe issue, it is really not. it is something that has to be stressed and maintained at all times, both project width and dimension. >> i have to ask you to complete your statement. >> yes, sir. mr. chairman, i just wanted to touch on these, and i thank the committee, and i'll be happy to answer any question.
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>> we thank you very much for your testimony. >> good afternoon, members of the committee on environment and public works. i'll be brief. i'd like to begin by the governors or their representatives from eight states met with the corp. yesterday to coordinate their efforts and actively address needed matters related to missouri river flooding. this was not the first meeting of the group as most attended an august 19th meeting in omaha to discuss matters concerning the flood. in those meetings, governors or the representatives from seven of the eight states signed a letter indicating a clear consensus that flood control must be the highest priority in the operation of the missouri river main stem system. it also strongly requested that the corp. thoroughly examine future management of the river in light of this year's precipitation and flooding and report to them on alternate actions to reduce future high flow events. finally, it was requested that the corp. provide recommendations for specific
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operational changes to have greater flood protection and consult with tribes in implementing any changes. the governors discussed opportunities to increase future flood control and discuss priorities and coordinations. one point to be taken from these meetings is that the basin governors are very serious about taking action to reduce the risk of future flooding and the level of future flood damages as well as address recovery priorities. we don't have a full reliable tally of damages at this time, but we have received data in nebraska over 155 million dollars in infrastructure damages eligible for assistance. we had disaster declarations for 13 counties along the missouri liver and another three counties in the north platt basin on the other end of the state. overall, our experience with the corp. was positive. we received invaluable assistance from the corp. personnel and are very
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appreciative of the assistance on levy and emergency mitt -- mitigation. one outcome i hope to see in future efforts 1 improved communication in the spring rise situations where flooding 1 a possibility and during the emergency flood situation itself . . it involves a wide range of state and government responses where having the best possible information as soon as possible can help result in better and more cost effective decision making. while a thorough examination of the 2011 missouri basin flood will likely identify some areas where different actions could have been taken, the most important controllable outcome is how we incorporate new data and perspectives into future decision making in terms of main stem operations and how those of us in the basin prepare and respond. in necks, it is -- in nebraska, it's resulted in a strengthened focus of flood control. we look forward to re-examine
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activities and options in light of new information and basin priorities. thank you. >> thank you very much. mayor warton, thank you for being here. >> thank you, senator, thank you for convening the hearing, i want to thank senator alexander for inviting us up. i'll be brief. of course, i'm from memphis, tennessee, right in the tip of the delta there. i join the other witnesses in underscoring the fact that for the most part, our system, as aged as it may be, did, indeed work. we want to thank the corp. of engineers for working with us as we installed some of the flood walls which had never been used quite frankly, and, again, quite up in age. in spite of working so well, the flood did impact our community. fortunately, the impact was not as severe as it could have been. st. jude children's hospital, located just a few blocks from the river was spared some massive flooding because the system did work.
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i might add, though, that the pump station that kept st. jude from out of the flood is 95 years old, and the key point i would like to leave is that while the system worked this time, it has aged so that we're not confident that in future floods of this magty nude that these -- mall -- magnitude that these structures can stand floods of this magnitude. i hope we take away from the hearings an estimate and timetable while we've the time to reenforce the ages infrastructure. as senator alexander pointed out, leading us out of the economic slump, it's almost a perfect storm as someone just indicated. we've got high unemployment, but over the past 18 months, we've been able to place about 2,000 jobs with electrolux, new core,
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and other employees coming in there. we want to make sure the investments are, indeed safe. as we look at the initial estimates, looking at $20 million to $30 million to repair. you saw the channel threatened, dredging work of $2.5 million, shoreline work of another $5 million, so, again, very costly occurrence. we wish to thank the corp. again for working with us. we want to make sure they are able in the decades to come to withstand future floods of this and perhaps greater magnitude. thank you so much for holding the hearing. >> and thank you for your testimony, thank you all for your testimony and for
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condensing the presentation in light of the time restraints. we very much appreciate that. we assure you your entire remarks will not only be part of the record but used by the committee as we investigate how to proceed. >> let me say to each of you, i appreciate you being here, and brian, a special thanks for coming out from nebraska. mayor, we http://met before, but i think -- we hadn't met before, buttic we were working on a trail in your community. i was working with business people there. >> charles and omaha probably this year. >> yeah, funny a nebraska guy works on a trail, but i know people there. >> you'll be able to ride a bike from memphis to omaha. >> yeah, we like that idea. without digging into questions because i think we had great testimony in all of your statements that will be a part of the record, mr. chairman, if i might just offer a thought.
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as we think about the next year coming up, i have to imagine everybody on this panel is nervous, because many of the things that built up to create the problem this year are not only there now, but they are not likely to improve any between now and next spring when we start to deal with runoff and those issues. the second thing that i think we have all learned from this hearing is that we have got about a $2 billion issue hanging out there that quite honestly my concern is that we just didn't get good sense of how that problem is going to be solved. there are currently is no supplemental coming our way. i appreciate it. it's very difficult economic
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times and budget times and somehow, some way, we have to figure out how to fund these thing, but the reality is i'm a little bit worried we'll hit a drop dead date here where in the midwest, there's no construction season left. if we appropriate the money in december, it's not going to help much because you can't do construction during the winter months that needs to be done. so, at the conclusion of the hearing, i'm hoping that we feel a sense of urgency to try to solve this problem. i did not hear today any good way of solving it, but somehow, some way, belch, i am hope -- mr. chairman, i am hoping that republicans and democrats in a very bipartisan way can sit down, talk through this, and figure out how to get the funding quickly so we can take advantage of the limited days that are left in this
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construction season and try to repair some of the damage that is out there. then the final thing i would say to all of you who have worked on these issues longer than i have, obviously, i just want to encourage you continue to work with court. continue to work with us. we've got a whole host of problems out there. major, when you say st. jude's hospital, world renown, i grew up knowing about the hospital, was saved by a pumping system that is nearly a century old, that's got to be a concern to everybody because i'm guaranteeing we have those problems throughout the system. i had a choice of asking questions or saying a few words, thank you, mr. chairman, for your patience. i decided it would be best use of my time to say a few words. >> well, senator, i think you really summarized the circumstances extremely well, and i fully concur in your comments. there is a sense of urgency here.
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it's interesting at this hearing, we had 20 witnesses at the witness table, just showing the interest, including nine members of congress. during the course of the hearing, nine members of the committee have participated which is a large number considering this is a day in which there's a lot of committees that are meeting. i think there's a great deal of interest, and as our chairman and ranking member said at the beginning of the hearing, this is an area where there's bipartisan agreement that we need to do what's necessary to protect the people of this country, so i agree with senator johanns. i believe this is a matter of urgency that we have to move forward, and dr. galloway, your challenge to us is absolutely right. we do need to develop a national plan for flood risk management. i like that term, "flood risk management." we have to use traditional structures like dams and levies, but we also use green infrastructure that we've been talking about, and it's the management issues.
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you can't prevent extreme conditions, but you certainly can manage them in a much more effective way so the public knows the risks, and you take appropriate action to minimize it, so we have -- we don't have as much damage to repair after the fact. i thought that was well done, and to mr. mcgean, i want you to know your numbers updated our numbers. the direct savings wrs 3 to -- 3-to-1 if you include all government investments, but your last number was the most telling which the work we've done on green infrastructure has actually brought in more money to the federal treasury, more money to the federal treasury. if you took a look at that view of ocean city and realized what the assessed values and revenues in tourism would have been if the renourishment programs had not been done versus how it is today, and what we were able to preserve and get back into business quickly after irene,
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hurricane irene struck, then you know that the federal government as recipients of tax dollars got more money in as a result of its relatively modest investment over the period of time of $50 million. i think that these projects enjoy bipartisan support for a good reason. they make good economic sense as well as providing the services that are important to the people of this country. i have one question, captain, because your numbers worried me with the 400-foot level. was that a temporary problem of obstruction or was that a failure to maintain channels at the appropriate width? when you got to 4 lurks feet. we don't want you at 400 feet. >> well, mr. chairman, we're speaking today about 2011. i've been 5 pilot on the -- a pilot on the river for 33 years. every year you have higher river. every year, you encounter the
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same type of situation that we had. it's only a different degree, but the answer to your question, sir, yes, it went down as low as 185 feet to be quite honest with you during the certain part of time. then we had to lower the draft from 47 feet to 45 to 43, and when we say that, it's easy to say each foot represents a million dollars of cargo either in or out of the united states, so when i'm asking for $20 million to maintain that channel, and we lose a few ships, that's nothing, you know? the answer, sir, it's very narrow. we try to do the best we can, and the corp. does a fantastic job when they have the funding. >> well, we agree with you. our challenges on the east coast are different, but maintaining channels are critically important. i know some of the risk factors on the cnd canal in navigating a, than you're trying to get rid
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of those areas that pose a huge risks, and it is a funding issue, and we need to make sure that that is done. i'm going to keep the record of the committee open for questions to be asked by members of the committee to you all because of the lateness of this panel, i would just ask your cooperation that questions proposed in writing that you respond promptly to the committee, not quite as bad as secretary darcy did or senator whitehouse, 23 you can respond a little bit quicker, we'd appreciate it and make our committee record complete. again, thank you for your parks, thank you for your testimony, and most importantly, thank you for what you did to help build the great nation and keep our people safe. with that, the hearing will stand adjourned. thank you. >> thank you, sir. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> up next on c-span j2, video from the occupy wall street protests in new york.
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>> with all priorities, until further notice, every decision the federal government make, every close call should be made in favor of economic growth. every tie should be broken in favor of growth of the private sector. >> he worked as an adviser in the reagan white house, omb in bush's administration and implemented spending cuts that implemented a billion dollar surplus. his new book, the economy and his decision not to run for president in 2012 at 8 eastern on c-span's q&a.
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>> for more than a month, protesters calling themselves occupy wall street, have been living in zuccotti park in manhattan. we recorded video from the park and talked to some of the protesters. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you know why? the lawyers know what gummings don't see, and -- [inaudible] >> take this check, get the car, get out. this country has its money, but at the same time, it's money -- [inaudible] >> what you're describing it summed up in one word, "corruption."
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>> of course. money talks. other things with wall street -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> allenstown, pennsylvania, been here for 23 day, so when i first heard about t i realized basically since this country started, it's a war between the rich and the poor, and that's really defining whether or not we have a democracy or not. there's not a democracy where there's classes, you know? it's against the poor one-sidedly, and then i heard about this, i knew the poor were waking up, and we're going to take our side in it. this is where the power runs from, not washington, d.c.ment
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it's important to be here. [inaudible conversations] >> i don't think -- see, i want a revolution, but i don't see it coming out of this specifically, but the first half of a revolutionary is to change public opinion, and this is a big university. i'm here to talk. i'm here to listen and learn and hopefully teach a little, you know? that's basically it. >> what do you think about all the other things happening around the world? >> it's because there's -- we've had the moral argument for revolution, for taking our side of the class war for -- since the system emerged. now the necessity 1 actually pinching people. middle class is becoming poor and the poor are jumping off the bridges because they can't make ends meet, so it's not the moral argument, but necessity. that's why the world is uprising. >> can you tell me how it's
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impacted you personally? >> well, i'm 25, worked seven years in my life, i have not found a job for the last year and a half. it's not like i'm looking for a good job. i worked -- in the food service. it's really impacting me greatly, and i'm from a town next to allentown called beth lee ham that used to produce most of the steel for the country. there's a lot of jobs there, and now -- [inaudible] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> i think this is my fourth week here? i'm not sure. i came -- it was after the -- [inaudible] it was, you know, i started listening to it during the media blackout, so i just came to check it out for myself. i'll check it out, came in, and i had a lot of the same views that i think a lot of people come in with which what do they want? what are they doing? just another protest, and i went to school in dc, so i see a lot of that, and then i kind of pulled back the curtains and looked at the nice little work groups going on, the meetings that were well organized and really realized that there's a lot, there's a core of, you
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know, there's a core of theories and there's a process going on, and it's not just about the science on the outside, that's important part of it, but that it is something that you can just jump into and get engaged in, and i had a moment where i was like, well, i can either stand outside and judge it and try to follow the news or i can just jump in, and if i have friends, i can raise them. that's what i've been doing. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> all we ask for is a dpoa nation. thank you -- donation. thank you so much. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> because i am a businessman, i am proud and was forelly connected with a large company,
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the opposition have attempted to picture me as liberalism, but i was a liberal before many of those men heard the word, and i fought for the reforms of the elderly and roosevelt and woodrow wilson before another roosevelt adopted and distorted the word "liberal." >> he was a member of the democratic party switching in 1940 when he sought and won the republican nomination for president. although he lost the election, he left a mark in political history speaking out for civil rights and being the former ambassador for his opponent, franklin roosevelt. he's featured in the weekly series, "the contenders," friday, 8 p.m. eastern.
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>> occupy wall street was the main topic on tuesday's "washington journal," and we talked with online editor and chief, jonah goldberg, and richmond trumpka. this is an hour and a half. >> host: back with jonah gold berg, editor as large of national review online. you wrote in a piece about the occupy wall street movement. it simply one big party where the price of admission is an overwhelming sense of grievance or victimhood. explain. >> guest: well, if you spend as much productive or non-productive time as i do watching all the youtube videos; right? the national review sent people to go amongst the area for
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awhile now, and one of the things that came through, and this is something left wing says as well, calling it a church of dissent. there's no theme. these people are ticked off, some for long standing left wing cause reasons. some of the most symbolic images 1 a guy with a sign that says "i hate stuff too." we interviewed him saying, what do you mean? well, i was trying to come up with something that unifies something everybody here can agree on, and all i came up with is "i hate stuff too." i think that summarizes it well. >> host: the democrat's chance in occupy wall street movement. they should not be made the scapegoat, but it's the first financial masters of the universe whose shocking irresponsibility triggered the 2008 crisis that almost
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acceptability the global economy into the abyss. wall street received a bailout from george w. bush, and three years later, things looking up and salaries and bonuses are rising. enter the occupy wall street protesters with their simple demand for economic justice. the right cause at the right moment. >> guest: i think, i think he's a wonderful man. i think that is an incredibly high pile of nonsense to use a c-span friendly word. almost every single thing in there is based upon false premises and assumptions of what happened, what caused the financial crisis, about obama's role in supporting these bailouts and all the rest of the bailouts that started under george bush, but check the tape at least to say, we'll find that president obama lent more on political support, defended it, kept on tim geithner, the poster by for this. president obama got more money for wall street than any other politician in the last 20
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years. moreover, while there was definitely bad actors on wall street, this narrative that was all driven by wall street greed and high finance greed and all of the rest, really doesn't track well with the actual history. the reason why we had a financial crisis, and there's lots of reasons, but the main reason was that starting in the early 1990s, the government encouraged the giving bad mortgages to people, to good people, but people who could not handle the financial weight of the mortgages. over time, lending policy by government became more and more of a social program until vast amounts of bad paper were being held by fannie mai, freddie mac, the federal housing authority and all the rest, this created a bubble in the housing market that created a bubble in bad paper that then shifted into wall street. people like barney frank and chris dodd are more to blame than ceos on wall street, and
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lastly, he said the simple demand for economic justice, well, 24 is one of the trojan horse phrases. it's like social justice. it's a word that actually has -- it sounds reasonable, but it's, in fact, incredibly radical and very difficult to define. the, you know, they are demanding a simple phrase, but not a simple idea. the idea that economic justice is something that you can just sort of demand from washington and it will deliver is deeply complicated, and it is the kind of thing that carries with it a lot of radical and frankly left wing marxist socialist ideas with it, but if you say "economic justice" on the op-ed page of the "washington post," it sounds they are reasonable, but, in fact, they are not reasonable. >> host: he goes on to write about the politics of this and the popularity of the movement saying that "even republicans have started to talk differently about the movement. within a week, talking about
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eric cantor, the majority leader in the house backing off from calling them mobs and acknowledges a growing frustration out there across the country about unemployment. i'm guessing he saw the "time" magazine poll saying 54% of the americans have a favorable view of the occupy wall street protests. >> guest: begin, a lot of contentiousness. this basically says are you mad at wall street? do you support people mad at wall street? i'm really mad at wall street. you raise an interesting point. because it's such a media darling and got favorable treatment compared to the tea party as a bunch of goons and fascist, the occupy wall street thing is the dash board saint of reasonableness and all of the rest. the problem with it is so now you have a mythology event of
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what occupy wall street represents in the mass media, and the reality of the people on the ground, and i think eric cantor and republican politicians are wise to say there's legitimate concerns out there, and the 99%, we are the 99%, and some of them are just whiney nonsense, but some of them are legitimate honest to goodness hard working people caught in the switches of a really terrible economy. it's legitimate to say we're with you for being upset about how band the economy is. on the other hand, the reality of what the occupy wall street people are actually saying in these zuccotti park and elsewhere is very different. at the core, the problem with comparing the occupy wall street guys is a simple one. the tea party people, who were
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patriotic, low taxes, limited government, leaders in the constitution versus open ended, everybody's welcome as long as they are missed off movement, is the tea parties were against bailouts too. they were against them first, gebs bailouts of aig, the car industry, and the rest in part because they were the taxpayers' funding them. the occupy wall street guys are the taxpayers who are jealous because they didn't get thaifer own bailouts. >> host: did the tea party movement start out organized? >> guest: no, it didn't, and, you know, this didn't start organized either. i think part of the problem is that, and the tea party still isn't organized. i mean, i spoke to a few tea party, and i don't know a lot of leaders of the tea party. to say the one thing didn't start out organized does not mean they are the same kind of thing. >> host: jonah goldberg is
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part of a series of stories in the national review. here's the cover. no tea party, taking a look at the occupy wall street movement. that's the cover, and inside, there's jonah goldberg's piece, "the dreamy anarchists." you write the mainstream liberals support the occupation of wall street and the companion movements long enough to reconfirm everything they worked decades to disprove. what did you mean there? >> guest: well, you know, there's a narrative, and there's a good piece in the "wall street journal" making these points. the democratic party, contrary to all the no nostalgia we get on tv movies and the rest was terribly hurt by the radicalism of the 1960s and 1970s. for two decades, they had to keep swearing they were not as radical as the students for the democratic society or the new lift or the black panthers or those groups.
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you know, we've seen this narrative that's extended, you know, bill clinton had this problem, president obama had to disenvow the weatherman, john kerry had to disenvow the war groups. the guy was famous as a protester of the vietnam war, but he said he should be famous for his service in vietnam. that's a different argument. you have wall street guys going out there who are serious, the ones in the park are decidedly serious left wing types, out of casting left wing types. troll on youtube for an hour looking at their videos, not the ones conservatives make. you can see they are the the ones democratic party tried to disassociate from to win the middle class people and the rest. the second they appear because of liberal tea party envy and the general nostalgia of the 1906s they are falling on themselves to endorse the
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movement, site on scene, not knowing where it's going, ignoring the fact the communist party of the america just gave a speech in chicago. it's all great because it's freedom of speech and the rest, and it's going to get them into trouble. my most serious prediction is it fizzles out, but otherwise the democrats embrace it long enough to get the mess on themselves. >> host: here's what president obama said in an october 6 press conference when asked about the occupy wall street movement, if it had the potential to be a tea party movement in 2012. here's what he had to say. >> what i think is that the american people understand that not everybody's been following the rules, that wall street is an example of that, that folks who are working hard every single day, getting up, going to the job, loyal to their companies, that that used to be the essence of the american
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dream. that's how you got ahead, the old-fashioned way, and these days, a lot of folks who are doing the right thing are not rewarded, and a lot of folks who are not doing the right thick are rewarded, and that's going to express itself politically in 2012 and beyond until people feel like once again we're getting back to some old-fashioned american values in which if you're a banker, then you are making your money by making prudent loans to businesses and individuals, to build plants and equipment and higher workers that are creating goods and products that are building the economy and benefiting everybody. >> host: jonah goldberg, how would you characterize those comments? >> guest: i think they are wise politically. i think they are trying to cast themselves as a mainstream guy who shares the same frustrations
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as mainstream america. i think there's a lot of truth to how he characterizes it. >> host: not a full embrace? >> guest: not a full embrace, but moving in that direction. we saw him at the martin luther king ceremony getting closer. they are using the phrase "the 99%" and all the rest. there's ironies here. president obama said after the scott brown victory in 2009 and other off year elections that were tea party victories, he said, well, the same people who supported me in 2008 are the same people forming the tea parties now. it seems like there is no popular social movement that isn't supporting president obama and president obama's own telling of it 37 >> host: phone calls, casey, a republican in georgia, you're on the air, go ahead. >> caller: i really enjoyed it, but i have to disagree with you saying wall street is going to fizzle out. i truly believe through the power of the internet that the
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tea party and wall street are going to form together and with ron paul's plan in the fed, end the wars, taxes, your comment, please. >> guest: sure. this is a long shot dream of a certain branch of libertarianism that they will be able to perfectly thread the needle between left and right and join both sides in a anti-government movement and all the rest. i would love to see that. i mean, personally, i would love it if the left was co-ononopted by them, and what is two thumbs and loves that scenario, this guy. i don't see it happening. there's interesting crossover in the ideology about the ron paul types who can be both the occupy wall street crowd and the tea party crowd, but the problem is that their support while i'll admit is growing, is going to eventually hit this incredibly high dogmatic wall.
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at the end of the day what's admirable by my likes of the ron paul people is they want the government to leave them alone, and the core of the occupy wall street people is they want the government to do as much as panel and many things that are impossible for them. >> host: new york, matt, democratic caller, you're next. >> caller: well, thank you, c-span. your guest intellectual dishonesty is really quite unbelievable, and, you know, looks like a very nice young fellow there, but i think your intellectual capacity could be better used to discuss the occupiers more honestly, and i know you'll have a fancy rebuttal to this, but, you know, even alan greenspan admits now that the banks and wall street cannot self-regular late, and for you to -- self-regulate, and for you to
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insert language like "marxist," those people in wall street are not about that, and i don't know why, you know, for you to be on television like this to just throw and cast out these kinds of statements to characterize these people is really, you know, the wall street, the banks, they write their own legislation, and deregulation, hire the lobbyists, and give it to the politicians. i mean, look at bill grahm throughout the clinton years putting through the legislation to deregulate the banks. he was a republican. the campaign contributions, the deregulation legislation, and you have the wall street banks, basically writing their own ticket, writing their own legislation -- >> hi, matt. can i jump in? have you taken part in the protests? >> caller: not yet. you know, i work part time. i'm really also stuck as a
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result of the down economy, but, you know, it's not just about jobs. there's also something larger going on in the political system, and i just wish that both sides, left and right, would be, would approach this matter, you know, and look at the problems of the -- that go on systematically, more honestly, the legislation, the lobbyists, the deregulation, take into account minds like alan greenspan, how they look at it, and if we deal with the subject matter more honestly, and, of course, campaign contributions -- >> host: we got the point. your response? >> guest: first of all, here's a tip. if you hear something you disagree with, don't start from the assumption that the person secretly agrees with you but it lying to further a further agenda. that's arguing in bad faith. i have no problem with you thinking i'm wrong, but i find the arrogance of people who automatically assume that if they hear something that they
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disagree with it's because the other guy is lying, which we keep coming back to my intellectual dishonestly. regardless, that's your hang up. you make some perfectly fine points. i think that the lobbying, the government and wall street is outrageous. what do you think bailouts are if not incest? why do you think the fact president obama got more money from wall street than the republican can candidate in 2008 than any candidate in the last 20 years. where do you think that comes from? the goldman sachs, this white house, awe though unions offends me with that collusions of republicans as well. people look at the amount of money going into washington, look at the lobbying, look at campaign donations and all the rest, and they say well what we have to have is more government regulation, more government
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oversight, more government control of these businesses, more government involvement, and then they are shocked when these businesses give money to washington. the way you solve these problems is creating a high wall of separation between business and government. that's not to -- you can't just simply say you can't have businesses give money to politicians. what you have to do is have to say that politicians need to get out of the business of running business, and until that happens, if a corporation has a bottom line dependent entirely upon what washington does rather than what the market does or what the consumerments, this business model is going to change to deal with washington rather than dealing with the consumer or the market, and it is the essence of liberal politics, mainstream liberal politics, although i think the caller is completely wrong when he says there's no marxism and no lennonism going on down
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there. listen to what people are saying, what speakers show up and address the crowd. you know, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who advocates socialism or marxism or another left wingism down there. regardless, we need the government out of the business of business, and until you do that, it is going to be inevitable that business is going to get involved in government. >> host: by the way, if you're interesting in hearing from some of the protesters, we did have one group involved with the protesters on our show this past saturday. go to and our video library, you can listen to the interview. eric's an independent from california. go ahead. >> caller: good morning, thank you, c-span, and i really appreciate what the last caller had to say. the gentleman you have on right now is obviously very intelligent and well spoken, but he also can speak double talk, and there's just the facts are, you know, there may be some
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things that can be learned from all different kinds of government -- i don't know marxism, but we need a national health care policy, we do need affordable health care. i find it difficult to deal with the fact that out here there's an electronics company, the ceo's in office for nine months walking away with $14 million. that's 200 times $70,000 average wage in less than nine months. you see the ceo of mobile oil make $400 million, the year that the oil crisis hit 100 a barrel -- hundred dollars a barrel, and that is the tipping point for the economic -- >> host: eric, what are you calling for? are you saying -- >> caller: calling to say that's what the people are complaining about. >> host: right, yeah. >> caller: it's lopsided. >> host: so economic justice? >> caller: it's out of whack. out of whack.
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>> host: okay. jonah gold berg. >> guest: it's legitimate to say things are out of whack. the ceo pay to peer groups not based on performance all all the rest is nonceps. we went off track, which was caused by government regulations when we switched from giving ceo salaries because everyone was offended by their high salaries to the stock option plans that blew up their compensation more. those are all legitimate greecheses, i'm not a fan of the ceo culture in the country, but just because i don't like something doesn't mean that i think government meddling will fix it rather than make it worse, and, you know, the high oil prices, you know, it's amazing -- every few years oil prices get high, we have -- we have basically conservatives and free markets saying


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