... UNITED STATES fLPARTMENT OF 'AGRICULTURE
l::: Bureau of Agricultural Economics
... Washington, D. C.
Library List No. 13 August, 1940
BB F^ INDIRECT FLOOD DAMAGES
S.A List of References
:* Compiled by Louise 0. Bercaw
iLibrary, Bureau of Agricultural Economics
::,.. This short list comprises the results of a careful examination of
:' the publications on floods and flood control on file in the Libraries
of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Few references on the subject
of the. money value of indirect damages caused by floods were found
: although a great many publications were examined. Publications on the
-subject of floods are so numerous that only those whose titles seemed
l::1c .promising were examined. Many reports of the United States Army engi-
s eers were examined. Doubtless much valuable unpublished material is
P:.v %contained in the offices of the Chief of Engineers and the Division
KE. Engineers, as some of their reports contain statements that certain
IE appendices relating to flood damages were not published. Numerous
:::" Congressional hearings were also examined, but as most of them contain
p. ....aso indexes it was impossible to examine them thoroughly. The following
sources were examined for references: card catalogues of the libraries
of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Agricultural
Economics; the Engineering Index, 1920-1939; Soil Conservation Litera-
*.:.*, ture, v. 1-3, 1937-1939; and the Transactions of the American Society
of Civil Engineers, 1914-1939. A number of publications in the library
of the U.. S. Bureau of Public Roads were also examined.
.i..ecod, John Watson, and Burdick, Charles Baker. Relief from floods. The fundamentals
||l -of flood prevention, flood protection and the means for determining proper reme-
dies. Ed. 1, 175pp. New York, McGraw-Hill book co., inc.; London, Hill publishing
l: co., ltd., 1918. 290 Al8
:: Ch. IV, Fundamental Data, contains a discussion, pp. 58-60, on indirect losses.
Il Among the indirect losses which are said to be "necessary to a consideration of
S practical expenditures for flood relief" are "those arising from the paralysis of
i business, manufacturing, merchandising, transportation, labor, and the suspension
S of industry in all forms"; "depreciation in property brought about through the in-
: creased emphasis of the flood menace in the locality inundated"; bank clearings; etc.
i; Figures on direct and indirect losses suffered by railroads in the Scioto River
S flood of March, 1913, are given.
A: lvard, John Watson, and Burdick, Charles Baker. Report to the Franklin County conserv-
ancy district on flood relief for the Scioto Valley. 279pp. [Columbus, 0., The New
S Franklin printing co., 1916] 290 F85
i Cover title: Flood Relief for the Scioto Valley. 1916. Report and Recommenda-
tinsi:: o of the Chief Engineers, John W. Alvord and Chas. B. Burdick.
... Flood Losses in the Scioto Valley, pt. III, pp. 17-46. The following is quoted
from the section on Indirect Flood Losses, pp. 24 25:
.S .- - -
"The indirect 1913 flood losses in the zone below the proposed detaining basins
are estimated to be not less than $15,000,000, a sum fifty per cent. greater thaa
the estimated physical damage in the same zone, making the total flood los8 up-
wards of $25,000,000. The figures for indirect loss are summarized on Table I and
shown more in detail for the railroads on Table 6. The above estimate of indirest
losses is necessarily incomplete, bat covers the more important items and is be-
lieved to present these conservatively.
"Indirect flood losses are taken here to include all losses occasioned by the
flood aside from actual physical damage and destruction of visible property. These
indirect losses are not confined to temporary cessation of local business and the
obvious inconvenience immediately resulting from flood in the stricken community,
but accumulate with lapse of time and ramify throughout the state, reaching even
beyond the borders of the state in so far as its industrial activity is interwoven
with that of the entire country.
"Among the indirect losses may be mentioned those arising from the paralysis of
business, industry and transportation, unemployment and sickness caused by the
flood, suspension of public schools, depreciation of property, abandonment of the
flood zone by families and industries to the detriment of growth, inconvenience to
the public accustomed to using bridges and highways now destroyed, etc. Some of
these losses are susceptible of fairly satisfactory measure, while others are ob-
viously almost impossible to estimate with any reasonable degree of satisfaction."
Other Indirect Losses, p. 34.
Alvord, John Watson, and Burdick, Charles Baker. A report to the mayor and city coun-
cil on flood protection for the city of Columbus, Ohio, September 15, 1913. 325pp.,
charts. Chicago, Ill., Alvord & Burdick r1913 3 290A182
Flood Damage, pp. 39-42. Indirect Losses, pp. 41-42. No estimate is given of
the money value of the indirect losses from the flood, but a list of the items that
enter into such losses is given.
American railway engineering association. The Mississippi Valley flood 1927. Amer.
Railway Engin. Assoc. Bul. 29(303, pt. 2): 1-111. Jan. 1928. Public Roads Libr.
A table on p. 104 gives loss and damage to railroads by reason of the 1927
flood in the Mississippi Valley. Loss of business during high water is included
in the estimate of direct losses. An incomplete figure for indirect losses is
American railway engineering association. New England flood of November, 1927. Amer.
Railway Engin. Assoc. Bul. 30(308): 1-105. Aug. 1928. Public Roads Libr.
Loss and damages are summarized for railroads on p. 102. In addition to direct
losses, an incomplete figure for, traffic, operating and miscellaneous losses is
Central Colorado River authority. Soil and water conservation district. Report...to
United States Department of agriculture, Washington, D. C. Subject, water and soil
conservation, emergency relief, domestic farm live stock and municipalities
(combatting recurring drouths excessive run-off). 23pp., typewritten. Coleman,
Texas r1936 292C332
Flood Damage and Control, pp. 13-14. "A detailed statement of flood losses
in this district is filed with the Texas State Planning Board, the National Re-
sources Committee, and other agencies."
Statistics of flood damage are given on pp. 19-23. They consist of crop,
livestock, soil damages, damages reported by the Highway Department, etc.
Curran, Charles D. Flood protection data. Progress report of the committee. Dis-
cussion. Amer. Soc. Civil Engineers Proc. 63(1): 218-220. Jan. 1937. 290.9 Am3P
The following paragraphs are quoted from pp. 219-220:
"Indirect damages to the immediate locality should be carefully considered.
Loss of business to a food store is a damage; but bow serious is the loss of a
week's business to a clothier, or to a hardware merchant, when the business is
merely delayed? Possibly the latter gains, by a flood. While considering the
indirectt damages to be omitted, one should remember to include the immeasurable
damages to foundations by the operation of several hundred pumps trying to empty
cellars for a week.
"General indirect damages are not readily measurable. They are almost as
vague as benefits when an effort is made to interpret them in terms of dollars
and cents. However, an accurate measure of direct damages will be an approach
to the problem's solution."
Frank, Arthur DeWitt. The development of the federal program of flood control on
the Mississippi River. 269pp. New York, Columbia university press; London,
P. S. King & son, ltd., 1930. (Studies in history, economics and public law;
edited by the Faculty of political science of Columbia University. Number 323)
Bibliography, pp. 253-265.
The Flood of 1927 and the Legislation of 1928, ch. IX, pp. 187-243. A dis-
cussion of the direct and indirect losses is given on pp. 193-195. The following
on indirect losses is quoted from pp. 194-195:
"The indirect losses perhaps equaled or surpassed the direct losses. Cer-
tainly they totaled an enormous sum, but they were so intangible that they could
not be calculated by the most skilled statisticians. Secretary Hoover estimated
them at $200,000,000. The estimate has been generally accepted as perhaps as
good az any. The indirect losses extended to every one who was in any way af-
fected by the unfavorable influence of the flood on business, including laborers,
farmers and investors. The investors in securities of industries in the area,
in securities of the levee boards and farm lands of the delta, and in industries
closely connected with the lower valley suffered heavy indirect losses... When
one attempts to estimate the economic value of the business confidence of people
in a section, he has assumed a rather difficult task. The ramifications of in
direct losses may be illustrated by the dairy industry. Dairying had begun to
gain a foothold in much of the inundated areas. The flood seriously delayed its
development. The destruction of, or serious injury to, an infant industry cannot
be estimated as the actual value of the property destroyed. Another indirect loss
that could scarcely be measured was the loss of negro labor from the delta farms.
Many negroes never returned to their former homes. Some sections lost as much as
one third of their negroes. In a section of increasing shortage of farm labor .
this was a serious blow, at least temporarily.
"Thus, including both direct and indirect losses, the flood of 1927 must have
destroyed something less than 250 lives and in the neighborhood of a half bil-
lion dollars of property values. Judged on the basis of losses and damages, it
was the super flood of our history, so much larger than any previous one that
comparisons are difficult to make."
Frankenfield, H. C., and others. The floods of 1927 in the Mississippi basin, by
H. C. Frankenfield...with reports contributed by...Montrose W. Hayes, William E.
Barron, Frederick W. Brist, Truman G. Shipman, Harvey S. Cole, Robert T. Lindley,
James W. Cronk, Isaac M. Cline. U. S. Dept. Agr. Weather Bur. Monthly Weather
Rev. Sup. 29, 49pp. Washington, D. C., 1927. 1W37Ma
Loss and Damage from Flood, pp. 35-36. Two tables are given. They show value
of miscellaneous, crops, livestock and other farm property, protection work, sus-
pension of business, total; and number and value of livestock losses. "The total
of all losses, however obtained, was $284,117,631, but these figures...do not
cover all losses that were incurred. It has been the experience of the Weather
Bureau that flood losses as reported are at least 25 per cent less than the ac-
tual losses. This is considered a fair estimate, as many losses must necessarily
be of such character that they can not be accurately stated. Among these, as
stated by the official in charge of the New Orleans river district, are 'economic
losses resulting from such causes as removal of inhabitants by thousands from
their regular occupations and sources of income, disruption of transportation and
business, depreciation in values (a very serious item), losses of rents, interest,
and accounts, permanent losses of tenants and labor, and other attendant circum-
stances which can not be estimated, but which must be thought of in terms of many
millions of dollars.' Therefore, if 25 per cent are added to the total as given
in Table 13(i.e.12) the grand total would be $355,147,039."
Flood losses are also given in the district reports which follow the main ar-
Frankenfield, H. C. The Ohio and Mississippi floods of 1912. U. S. Dept. Agr. Weather
Bur. Bul. Y, 25pp., charts and diagrams. Washington, D. C., 1913. 1 W37Bu no. Y
Damages and Losses, pp. 22-23.
Estimates are given for property losses and damage, exclusive of crops; crop
loss and damage; damage to farm lands; and suspension of business.
Frankenfield, H. C., and others. The spring floods of 1922...with report contributed
by...Thomas A. Blair, Andrew M. Hamrick, M. W. Hayes, William E. Barron, J. H. Scott,
R. T. Lindley, Isaac M. Cline. U. S. Dept. Agr. Weather Bur. Monthly Weather Rev.
Sup. 22, 29pp., charts. Washington, D. C., 1923. 1 W37Ma no. 22
Loss and Damage, p. 28. Includes a table which gives value of property saved by
warnings and damages suffered as follows: general losses; crops, actual and pros-
pective; suspension of business.
Hatt, W. K. Flood p.tpl.ction in Indiana. Extracts of address. Natl. Drainage Cong.
Official Proc. (1916)6: 70-71. 1916. 54.9 N21
Includes a table which summarizes damages from the flood of March, 1913, in
Indiana. Damage due to suspension of business is one of the nine items listed.
"The interruption of transportation and of business, the destruction to farm
lands by cutting of banks of ivers and covering of bottom lands with gravel,
the loss of productive capacity of manufacturing plants, and the loss due to
sickness following exposure, are not susceptible of exact computation."
Henry, Alfred J. The floods of 1913 in the rivers of the Ohio and lower Mississippi
valleys. U. S. Dept. Agr. Weather Bur. Bul. Z, 117pp., illus. Washington,
D. C., 1913. 1 W37Bu no. Z
Detailed reports of floods of 1913 by districts are given on pp. 43-117.
Each one is by a different author.
Money Losses Due to Floods, pp. 41 42. Losses due to suspension of business
Damage and loss by the flood in Ohio is discussed on p. 47. Losses to rail-
roads, interurban electric roads, street and suburban lines, and to physical
plants of telephone lines, due to enforced suspension of business are included.
See also pp. 53, 55, 67 69, 74, 87, 96, 103 for other figures.
Los Angeles County, Calif. Board of engineers flood control. Provisional report...
June 3, 1914. [63pp. pp. of pictures. [n-.P. 1914. 290L89
Estimate of Damages Preliminary Report, July 3, 1914, pp. r5-63. The fol-
lowing is quoted from p. [&6:
"It should be borne in mind that this amount is only for property or physical
losses, and in only a few instances are the losses incurred byway of deprecia-
tion in value of property included in the estimate; the loss arising from the
depreciation of values along with another class of losses which occurred through
the suspension of business are extremely difficult to reckon or estimate when it
is considered that almost every business and industry in the City of Los Angeles
and the entire county was affected froir two to four weeks, as well as the wage-
earni-ng opportunities of the laboring men almost entirely suspended.
"From conference with a number of commercial and financial institutions, we
find a general opinion that the sum of these two latter named losses might be
safely placed at one third of the amount all other losses, or a sum of $2,500,000,
making an approximate' total loss in the County of $10,000,000."
Massachusetts. Special commission on investigation and study relative to certain prob-
lems in the Merrimack Valley. Report... (Chapter 60, Resolves of 1937). Decem-
ber 1, 1937. ll5pp. Boston, Wright & Potter printing co., legislative printers,
1938. (Senate No. 100) Public Roads Libr. 290M385
Value of Flood Damage Prevention, p. 28. This consists of two tables and the
"The Corps of Engineers of the United States Army, in order to provide a basis
for the determination of benefits to be derived by providing flood control, cal
culated the annual value of the complete elimination of flood damage. These corn
putations were made from the damage data collected after the flood of 1936, and
were based on the existing values and developments in the basin. The incremental
losses in one and two foot intervals were multiplied by the annual expectancy of
One table is entitled, "Controllable flood damages," and contains statistics of
direct and indirect damages reported, estimated additional indirect damages, and
total damages, by damage rpntprs, and fnr the state.
Mississippi flood control association. Losses and damages resulting from the flood. 1!
of 1927, Mississippi River and tributaries, in the states of Illinois, Missouri,
Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. 213pp. Memphis, Tent.
r1928?3 Public Roads Libr. 290M69
This summary covers largely the direct losses, but the introduction calls at-
tention to the difficulty of estimating the indirect losses which were enormous,
to the fact that Mr. Hoover estimated the direct losses at $200,000,000 and the
indirect losses at $200,000,000, and to the fact that as their county-by-county
survey bore out the accuracy of Mr. Hoover's estimate of the direct losses his
estimate of the indirect losses must be substantially correct.
Statistics given include (in addition to property, crop and livestock, highway
and other losses) loss of rents on land not cultivated by reason of overflow,
business losses, and loss of earnings of tenants and sharecroppers. Statistics
are given by counties, states, and total area affected.
Moore & Haller, inc. Report on investigation of September 1938 flood to the Depart-
ment of public works, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2pts., variously paged,
processed. Cambridge, Mass., Jan. 6, 1939. Public Roads Libr. 290M783
Indirect losses cannot be accurately estimated, "but the United States Army
Engineers have reported from their investigation in other areas that these dam-
ages generally equal the direct damages." p. 9, pt. I.
New Hampshire. Disaster emergency committee. Report...on the flood and gale of Sept.
1938. 92pp., processed. Concord, N. H., November 1938. Public Roads Libr.
Concerned mainly with direct damages but figures are given for indirect damage
to manufacturing plants, pp. 11-12, railroads and utilities, p. 16, and recrea-
tional business, pp. 31-32.
New Hampshire flood reconstruction council. Industrial and commercial damages -
March 1936 floods. Manufacturing plants, wholesale and retail establishments,
miscellaneous businesses and services (excluding public utilities). A report...
by the Sub-committee on industry and commerce. Variously paged, processed. Con-
cord, N. H. rApr. 22, 1936, 290N451
Contains estimates of direct damages mainly, but Table V includes estimates of
wage losses sustained due to shutdown of industrial and commercial establishments.
Figures are given by counties and towns, with total for the state.
New Hampshire flood reconstruction council. Report on...the flood of March 1936. 80pp.
EConcord, N. H.3 Apr. 25, 1936. 290N45
Public Finance Problems of the Flood, pp. 42-43. This contains, among other
things, paragraphs on reduction of taxable property values by flood and flood loss
effect on state revenue.
Pittsburgh, Pa. Flood commission. Report ...Containing the results of the surveys,
investigations and studies made by the commission for the purpose of determining
the causes of, damage by and methods of relief from floods in the Allegheny, Monon--
gahela and Ohio rivers at Pittsburgh, Penna., together with the benefits to naviga-
tion, sanitation, water supply and water power to be obtained by river regulation.
452pp. Pittsburgh, Apr. 16, 1912. 290P68
References to Flood Literature, pp. 397-432.
Flood Damage, ch. IV, pp. 62-67. Investigations of Flood Damage, pp. 64-71.
Results are summarized in table no. 28, p. 66, which gives direct losses by
three floods. Included in the statistics are loss to employer by suspension of
business, loss to employees due to shut-down, etc.
Red cross. U. S. American national red cross. The Ohio-Mississippi Valley flood
disaster of 1937. Report of relief operations of the American red cross.
252pp. Washington, D. C. [19383 280.005 R24
Intangible Losses, pp. 22, 24. The following is an extract from this section:
"Some of the heaviest losses, of course, cannot be estimated in terms of dollars
and cents. Hundreds of schools ceased functioning for many days. For a time,
normal educational activity came to a complete standstill throughout the devas-
tated region. Church services could not be held. Public and school libraries
were destroyed. The greatest loss of all the physical and mental anguish of
nearly 1,500,000 persons defies measurement..." 1
A somewhat similar statement is given on pp. 7-8 of the official report of
the relief operations for The Mississippi Valley Flood Disaster of 1927 (280.12R24)
Research service, inc. Flood waters of the Mississippi River. Article on the control,
conservation, and utilization of the flood waters of the Mississippi Basin. Pre-
pared for the National flood commission. 71st Cong. 2d sess. Senate Doc. 127,
84pp. Washington, D. C., U. S. Govt. print, off., 1932 290[R]1932
Bibliography, pp. 70-80.
A table on p. 63, quoted from the Monthly Weather Review Supplement, no. 29,
1927, p. 35, shows the estimated loss and damage from flood expressed in value.
Value of losses due to suspension of business is one of the items. A paragraph
on p. 64, regarding the difficulty of estimating all losses, particularly indi-
rect losses, and stating that 25 per cent additional should be added to the total
figures, is quoted from the same Monthly Weather Review Supplement.
St. Francis flood control association. Statement showing development of counties
in Missouri situate in St. Francis River basin and delinquent general tax and
resulting liens also loss and damage resulting from the floods of 1927 and 1928,
St. Francis River and tributaries in Missouri. 20pp. Mmphis, Tenn. ra.d.3
Bound with Missouri Flat River survey, preliminary report, by William S. Ford.
63pp., typewritten. Washington, D. C., U. S. Federal emergency relief adminis-
tration, June 4, 1934.
Statement signed by Langdon R. Jones, president.
Statistics are given in detail by counties. Loss of rents and business losses
are included in the list of damages.
Santa Maria Valley water conservation district, comp. Economic and engineering phases
of flood control, water and soil conservation and protection of watersheds in
southern California. 198pp., processed. Santa Maria, Calif., August 1939. 2!?fi->5.q
Economic Phases of Flood Control, by Theodore Wyman, jr., June 16, 1939., pp. 1-7.
"Paper presented at the eleventh annual session of the Institute of Government,
sponsored by the Univers.ty of Southern California.. .June 12 16, 1939." The writer,
- 9 -
who was Major, Corps. of Engineers, 1. S. Army, District Engineer, Los Angeless, ,i||
Calif., tells among other things of a flood damage survey made by the Los ANgEle
District following the flood of Mar. 2, 1938. Included in the information col-
lected were data covering direct and indirect flood damage. The following is
quoted from p. 4:
"Local Government agencies, public utilities and private organizations co-
operated to furnish complete data concerning their losses through direct flood
damage, and their indirect losses caused by interruption of service and loss of
business, delay in transportation, enforced extra expenditure for various items,
depreciation of property values, loss of rent, etc.
"Data collected were collated, checked and tabulated for 16 classifications
of property, according to location and the stream involved, showing the direct
and indirect damages. Thus, for different types of property in a given area
where a certain type of damage occurred, a ratio between the direct and indirect
losses was computed.
"The amount of indirect loss was well established in Los Angeles County,
wherein the most severe damage had occurred and, as the areas involved were sub-
ject to the various kinds of damage, such as inundation, erosion, debris flow,
etc., the ratios established are of great value.
"It may be of interest to note that the ratio of direct to indirect damage
varies not only with the type of property, but also with the flood magnitude.
The greater the magnitude, the greater the indirect damage in relation to direct
damage, so that, in some cases, the indirect exceeds the direct damage. In using
the ratios from this flood to establish probable indirect damage for other floods,
care must be taken that the ratios are properly applied in regard to the classifi-
cation of property damaged and kind of damage, as well as the flood magnitude.
"A logical procedure in evaluating flood-control benefits in connection with
desired improvements, is to first determine the probable magnitude and frequency
of floods. A common practice is to estimate the magnitude of the maximum flood
and the number of floods of one third and one-sixth of that magnitude, which will
occur in a 100-year period. For the maximum flood and each of the floods of
smaller magnitude, an estimate of flood damage is made. This estimate involves
careful consideration of what areas would be damaged by each flood of these mag-
nitudes, the classification of property therein and the kind of damage in each
area. Surveys will fairly well fix the limits of the areas subject to each mag-
nitude of flood, and will give the present type of development therein, but, in
order to ascertain future damage, an estimate must be made as to the growth and
development to take place in the flood areas. When these factors are determined,
the direct and indirect damages can be estimated. Direct damage for a theoretical
flood is computed on the basis of past flood-damage experience and, in the Los
Angeles District, indirect damage is determined therefrom by using the ratios de-
veloped from the 1938 flood damage survey.
"The total of all direct and indirect damages for all floods during a 100-year
period, divided by 100, will therefore give the average annual direct benefit."
Taylor, Nathaniel R. The rivers and floods of the Sacramento and San Joaquin water-
sheds. U. S. Dept. Agr. Weather Bur. Bul. 43, 92pp. Washington, D. C., 1913.
1 W37B no. 43
Losses in the Central Valleys of California during the Floods of 1904, 1907,
and 1909, pp. 85 86. The total loss is estimated at $10,325,000. In addition
to physical damages (itemized) $500,000 of the total was charged to damage to
lands by erosion; $200,000 to losses sustained by suspension of business, and
$500,000 to "all other causes."
U. S. Congress. House. Committee on flood control. Comprehensive flood control plan
for Ohio and lower Mis, issippi rivers. Hearings ..75th Congress, 1st session on
levees and flood walls, Ohio River basin, H. R. 7393 and H. R. 7646, A bill to
amend an act entitled "An act authorizing the construction of certain public
works on rivers and harbors for flood control, and for other purposes", approved
June 22, 1936. June 7 11 and June 15-18, 1937. 425pp., folded maps. Washing
ton, D. C.) U. S. Govt. print, off., 1937. 290Un33Co
In a statement on pp. 25 30, Maj. Gen. Edward M. Markham, Chief of Engineers,
United States Army, gives estimates of the 1937 and 1936 flood losses, by cities.
General Markham, p. 30, lists the following items which would have to be taken
into consideration in estimating Ohio Valley intangible flood losses: "(a) The
threat to life and personal security in river communities. (b) The social loss
of several hundreds of lives lost as a result of the flood. (c) Effects, direct
losses in future business and industrial expansion. (d) Personal suffering of
half a million refugees. (e) Personal inconvenience of over 2,000,000 inhabitants
of river towns and cities due to cessation of public utilities. (f) General ef
feet on business conditions throughout the country. (g) Disruption of highway,
railway, telephone, and telegraph communir'3tiop, ihi In,-.rise of sickness and
loss of earning power of patients. (i) Loss of livestock du- to insect epidemic
which always follows a flood." He gives no estimate of the money value, but the
chairman of the committee suggests that $400,000,000 would be "a pretty conserv
Mr. McCoach states, on p. 140, that "the indirect damage is usually the per-
centage of the direct .physical damage", but doesn't say what the percentage is.
Floods in the United States, January and February, 1937, by Bennett Swenson,
pp. 189-195. Includes a few references to money damages, mostly due to suspen
sion of lumbering operations, loss of crops, and suspension of business.
Statement of Hon. Noble J. Gregory, Kentucky, pp. 381 383. In this statement
Mr. Gregory gives some figures on damages due to the 1937 flood in Kentucky.
"...Damage to business property, including factories, retail businesses, and
jobbing interests, is around $8,500,000 to $9,000,000 The loss in rentals of
homes, apartments, and business houses equals approximately $600,000. The loss
in time or payrolls to employees was approximately $350,000. The loss in time
to business was approximately $300,000. The loss in municipal and other busi
ness property was approximately $500,000. The loss in shipping, such as merchan
disc and other commodities in cars in the railroad yards in Paducah, was approx
imately $150,000. The loss to farmers in the Paducah areas approximately
$150,000. This makes a conservative estimated loss of about $16,000,000.
"In addition to the physical loss and financial loss, I would also call the
attention of this committee to the distress caused by this flood to the 30,000
inhabitants of Paducah who were forced to leave their homes and abandon.. .all
personal property and household goods owned by them and to a great extent the
savings of a lifetime."
10 -: ;
U. S. Congress. House. Committee on flood control. Flood control. Hearings...70th
Congress, 1st session on the control of the destructive flood waters of the United
States. November 22, 1927, and January 11, 1928. Part 7. Floods in the New
England states. pp. 4925-5370. Washington, D. C., U. S. Govt. print, off.,
1928. 292 Un37F
Report on Losses and. Damages Resulting from the Flood of 1927 on the Mississippi
River and its Tributaries, in the States of Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas,
Mississippi, and Louisiana, by Mississippi River Flood Control Association, pp.
4494-5006. In the introductory note, pp. 4994-4995 it is stated that the summary
covers largely the direct losses; that the indirect losses were very great and very
difficult to estimate; that Hon. Herbert Hoover had estimated the direct losses at
$200,000,000 and the indirect losses at $200,000,000; and that the results of the
survey bore out the accuracy of Mr. Hoover's estimate of the direct losses and
therefore his estimate of the indirect losses also must be substantially correct.
Detailed figures are given by states and include business losses.
Losses due to shut down of hardwood mills and the cooperage industry are given
on pp. 5002-5003.
Indirect losses of eleven railroads and loss of earnings by tenants and share-
croppers are given on p. 5004.
Other references to flood damages of various kinds in the seven parts of these
hearings may be found through consulting the index.
The report on losses and damages of the Mississippi River Flood Control Associ-
ation is reprinted in part in the hearings on flood control before the Committee on
Commerce, United States Senate, 70th Congress, 1st session, Jan. 23-31, 1938, pt. 2,
pp. 545-559. (292 Un393F)
U. S. Congress. House. Committee on flood control. Flood control in the Mississippi
Valley. Hearings...74th Congress, 1st session on A plan to modify and extend the
project for flood control and improvement of the Mississippi River authorized by
the Flood control act of 1928. April 1 to 13, 1935. 832pp. Washington, D. C.,
U. S. Govt. print, off., 1935. 290Un33Flv
Statement of Hon. Langdon R. Jones, president of the St. Francis Flood Associa-
tion of Missouri and Arkansas, pp. 504-574. Exhibit A of this statement is a
Statement Showing Development of St. Francis River Basin and Resulting Liens to
Lands Therein, also Loss and Damage Resulting from the Floods of 1927 and 1928,
St. Francis River and Tributaries in Arkansas and Missouri, pp. 509-539. Among
the statistical tables given are tables showing the amount of damage done in the
different counties of the region for 1927 and 1928. Most of the figures are for
direct damages, but figures are also given for loss of rents and for business losses.
Exhibit B, pp. 539-559, is a supplement to the first statement and contains sta-
tistics for 1929.
U. S. Congress. House. Committee on flood control. Flood control in the Mississippi
Valley. Report submitted by Hon. Frank R. Reid... (To accompany H. R. 8219)...70th
Cong. 1st sess. House Rpt. 1072. 395pp. Washington, D. C., 1928. 148 8839
Statistics on Loss of Life and Property in Flood of 1927, Appendix K, pp. 242-248.
Part of this section is from the Monthly Weather Review, Supplement No. 29; part
from a publication of the American Railway Engineering Association; and part from
- 11 -
the Report of Mississippi River Control Association, Memphis, Tenn. Included in
the damages estimated are damages due to suspension of business, indirect losses
of railroads, business losses, loss of earnings of tenants and sharecroppers, etc.
U. S. Congress. House. Committee on flood control. Flood control on the Mississippi
River. Hearings...71st Congress, 2d session on flood control on the Mississippi
River. 5pts. (1955pp.) Washington, D. C., U. S. Govt. print, off., 1930.
Pt. 2, pp. 524-526: State of Tennessee -- consolidated statement of loss and
damage by reason of the 1927 floods in the Mississippi Valley, six counties af-
fected. In addition to property, highway, bridges, crop and livestock damages,
statistics of business losses, loss of rents on lands not cultivated by reason
of overflow are given.
Pt. 2, pp. 598-600: Contains statistics of Committee estimate of damages, flood,
Dyer County, Tenn., 1929; economic data of West Tennessee, and loss and damage to
property by reason of 1929 flood, backwater areas. Included in the statistics are
loss from rents, business losses, loss sustained by agricultural labor prevented
from working because of overflow, and loss of labor outside of crop.
Pt. 2, pp. 628-629: Loss and damage to property by reason of the 1927 floods in
the Mississippi Valley, county of Ballard, State of Kentucky; economic data of back-
water areas of Mississippi at tributary Ohio, Ballard County, Ky.; backwater areas -
loss and damage to property by reason of 1929 flood. Business losses and loss of
rents on lands not cultivated by reason of overflow are included in the statistics.
Pt. 4, p. 980: Losses and damages sustained by Phillips County, Ark., by J. G.
Burke. Included in the damages due to backwater during flood of 1927 are rentals
of land uncultivated.
U. S. Dept. of agriculture. Soil conservation. Rio Grande district. Region eight. Rio
Grande survey. Report on surveys, examinations, and investigations made near
San Marcial, New Mexico, during 1936, 1937, and 1938. By Herbert W. Yeo. 272pp.,
typewritten. rAlbuqulerque) June 28, 1939. 1.9608 R293
The Cost of Floods in the Vicinity of San Marcial, pp. 207 208. The real prop-
erty loss was estimated to be not less than $1,000,000. "Certain other more or less
tangible properties as future productivity of land, trade expectations, and open ac-
counts were also lost but have not been here considered. Intangible losses by the
flood of 1929 probably far exceeded the property losses."
U. S. Engineer dept. Altamaha, Oconee, and Ocmulgee Rivers, Ga. Letter...submitting
a report, together with accompanying papers and illustrations, containing a general
plan for the improvement of Altamaha, Oconee, and Ocmulgee Rivers, Ga., for the pur--
poses of navigation and efficient development of waterpower, the control of floods,
and the needs of irrigation. 74th Cong. 1st sess. House Doc. 68, 157pp., folded
plates. Washington, D. C., 1935.
Estimates of the damages from the storms and floods of January 1925, February and
March 1929, August 1928, and other storms are given on pp. 35-37. Damage due to
suspension of business is one of the items for which damages are estimated for the
August 1928 storm.
- 12 -
U. S. Engineer dept. Connecticut River, Mass., N. H., Vt., and Conn. Letter...sub-
mitting a report, together with accompanying papers and illustration on examina-
tion of, and review of reports on, Connecticut River, Mass., N. H., Vt., and
Conn., Passumpsic River, Vt., and West River, Vt., between Weston and Brattle-
boro... 75th Cong. 2d sess. Hotse Doc. 455, 112pp. rWashington, D. C.] Dec. 16,
1937. 148 10180
Flood Losses, pp. 19-20. The following is an extract from this section:
"...Immediately after the 1936 flood an exhaustive investigation was made of the
various items of damage throughout the valley. The flood losses were classified
as follows: (a) Direct losses.- All direct damage to property and costs of clean-up
to private and Government interests.
"(b) Indirect losses.- (1) Loss of business and income and increased costs of
doing business to persons and organizations both private and governmental in the
area. (2) Loss of business and increased cost of operation to persons and organiza-
tions, governmental, and private outside the flooded area.
"(c) Property depreciation...
"Indirect losses were determined by establishing a relationship to direct losses
by the sampling method for the various classes of losses such as urban, rural, in-
dustrial, railroad, and highway. For the valley as a whole the indirect losses were
94.5 percent of the direct losses..."
A table is given showing direct, indirect, and total damages, and depreciation of
Report of the District Engineer, pp. 35-112. Flood losses are discussed at length
on pp. 50-59. The more important types of indirect related losses are enumerated in
paragraph 47, p. 55. A more detailed description is given in section 2 of the ap-
pendix, which is not printed in House Document 455.
Paragraphs 48 and 49, pp. 55-56 are as follows:
"48. Estimate of related losses.- To determine the value of the indirect losses,
approximately 1,215 individual losses in the industrial and urban classifications
were investigated, all available data were obtained from railways and highway sources,
and special inspections were made of the rural areas. Such portions of the indirect
losses as are susceptible to evaluation support the following ratios of indirect to
Urban 114 Railroad 70
Industrial 114 Rural 10
Upon the basis of these ratios it is estimated that the indirect losses below the reser-
voir sites considered amount to $30,410,000, or 94.5 percent of the total direct recur-
ring losses of $32,257,000 below these sites. Because it is necessarily based upon a
partial evaluation of indirect losses this ratio of indirect to direct losses is con-
sidered conservative. The detailed data regarding indirect losses are given in section
2 of the appendix. cnot printed.)
"49. Intangible direct losses.- The expectation of recurrent flooding of an inade-
quately protected community or area results in effects, the values of which can not
readily be expressed in terms of money, but which, nevertheless are real losses. They
are not taken account of in the computations of economic justification, but merit
- 13 -
consideration in a broad estimate of the worth of proposed protection. Among the
considerations that are the basis for this class of losses are the following:
(a) Possibility of loss of life; the 1936 flood cost at least 11 lives by drowning
and one by suicide. (b) Mental distress caused by losses and apprehension of future
damages. (c) Stopping of industrial expansion or additional development. (d) Lack
of credit for repair or construction in areas subjected to flood. (e) Exodus of
industries and people from the flooded area. (f) Effect upon social security of
U. S. Engineer dept. Flood protection and prevention. Letter...transmitting...reports
on preliminary examinations of Cheat River, Pa. and W. Va.; Tygarts River, West
Fork River, Eanawha River and its tributaries, West Virginia; Muskingum River and
its tributaries, Scioto River and its tributaries, Miami River and its tributaries,
Ohio; Maumee River and its tributaries, Ohio and Indiana, Wabash River and its
tributaries, Illinois and Indiana, with a view to devising plans for flood protec-
tion and determining the extent to which the United States should cooperate with
the states and other communities and interests in carrying out such plans, its
share being based upon the value of protection and navigation. 64th Cong. 2d sess.
House Doe. 1792, 175pp. Washington, D. C., 1916. 148 7147
Table VI on p. 55 shows the damages caused by the flood of the Muskingum River
and tributaries, March 13. This table "gives the damages directly attributed to
this flood, but in addition this flood caused indirect damages through suspension
of business, depreciation of property values, unsanitary conditions resulting from
the flood, etc., which would probably equal and possibly exceed the direct damages
sustained." p. 55.
"The damage incurred by navigation in the flood of March, 1913, consisted in the
physical damage to works of navigation and the indirect damages due to interference
with navigation during the flood and until the more serious damages to the works of
improvement could be repaired." p. 56.
On p. 72 there is a table showing part of damages sustained in Indiana in the
flood of March, 1913. Damages due to suspension of business are included in the
data. The figures were published by Prof. W. K. Hatt, chief engineer of the Indiana
A table on p. 105 gives a summary of 1913 flood damage (direct and indirect) in
the Scioto Valley. Figures are quoted from Alvord and Burdick's Report to the
Franklin County Conservancy District.
U. S. Engineer dept. Green River, Wash. Letter...submitting a report, together with ac-
companying papers and illustration, on a preliminary examination of Green River,
Wash., with a view to the control of its floods... 74th Cong. 2d sess. House Doc.
377, 38pp. Washington, D. C., 1935.
The following is quoted from a review of the report, p. 5: "Damages caused by
floods consist of delay in planting and spoiling of crops, damage to buildings and
highways, and lost time and increased cost of transportation. There has also beea
some loss of life and of livestock. The district engineer has investigated available
information, and estimates that the tangible annual losses average $168,000 and that
intangible losses will probably increase this sum to about $200,000. Be considers
that these losses, capitalized at 4 percent, fix the maximum limit of permissible
- 14 -
expenditure for complete protection, including capitalized operations and mainte- I
nance, at $5,000,000." 11
Flood damages are discussed in the main body of the report, pp. 24-27. l
U. S. Engineer dept. James River, Va. Letter...submitting a report, together with ac- ..
companying papers and illustrations, containing a general plan for the improvement
of James River, Va., for the purpose of navigation and efficient development of its
water-power, the control of floods, and the needs of irrigation. 73d Cong. 2d sess.
House Doc. 192, 61pp. Washington, D. C., 1933.
The following is quoted from Paragraph 39, p. 13: "Damages at Richmond...An av-
erage annual figure is $45,400. This includes $8,600 for indirect damages; regarding
which the district engineer states that although the propriety of their inclusion is
doubtful on principle, they were included for completeness, and since they did not
affect the final result." ,
U. S. Engineer dipt. Pamunkey River, Virginia, York River system. Letter.. .transmitting
report...on the Pamunkey River, Virginia (York River system), covering navigation,
flood control, power development, and irrigation, with illustrations. 71st Cong.
2d sess. House Doc. 54, 142pp. Washington, D. C., 1929.
Damages from Floods, pp. 110-113. Included in the railroad damages is a figure
for estimated loss of revenue.
U. S. Engineer dept. Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Kern rivers, Calif. Letter...submit-
ting a final report, together with accompanying papers and illustrations, containing
a general plan for the improvement of the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Kern rivers,
Calif., for the purposes of navigation and efficient development of its water power,
the control of floods, and the needs of irrigation. 73d Cong. 2d sess. House Doc.
191, 107pp. Washington, D. C., 1934.
Part V of Appendix B is on Flood Damages. This appendix was not printed, but ac-
cording to a note p. V of the Contents copies "may be procured at cost of reproduction
from the Division Engineer, Pacific Division, San Francisco, Calif."
U. S. Engineer dept. Yakima River, Wash. Letter...submitting a report, together with ac-
companying papers and illustration, on a preliminary examination of Yakima River,
Wash., with a view to the control of its floods... 74th Cong. 2d sess. House Doc.
399, 39pp. Washington, D. C., 1936.
Flood Damages, pp. 30-31. This consists of a table showing estimated flood
losses, December 1933 flood, and the following explanatory paragraph: "No data are
available as to damages resulting from any but the 1933 flood. This office made a
spot check of the W.E.R.A. flood damage survey, from which the estimate shown in
table 13, of damages resulting from the flood of December 1933 is derived. This
estimate does not include damage to one of the railroad system serving the valley
(no data on such damage being available) nor does it, in general, include intangi-
ble-losses loss of business, loss of wages, additional expense to traffic because
of flooded highways, etc. No accurate appraisal of these intangibles is possible,
but it would appear that the total damage in the basin for that one flood would ap-
- s15 -
U. S. Tennessee Valley authority. The Chattanooga flood control problem. 76th Cong.
1st sess. House Doc. 91, 137pp., charts. Washington, D. C., 1939.
Appraisal of flood damages is discussed on pp. 24-31. The appraisal of indi-
rect damage is given on pp. 29 and 31. "The indirect damage was appraised and
computed for loss of industrial wages, loss of commercial and clerical wages,
loss of industrial output (after deducting wages, material, fuel, and purchased
energy), loss of profit on retail sales, loss of receipts by transportation com-
panies and public utilities, and expenditures by relief agencies for those made
Application of Appraisal to Past Floods, pp. 31-32. Includes a table which
shows appraised Chattanooga flood damages for the 1867 flood stages and for
stages 5 and 10 feet lower. Damage for indirect loss is included in the sta-
Intangible flood damage is discussed on pp. 34-35.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08926 5754
ECONOMIC LIBRARY LISTS
No. 1. State trade barriers; selected references. March 1939; Revised:
No. 2. The frozen food industry; selected references, January 1937 to
March 1939. April 1939.
No. 3. High drafting in cotton spinning; selected references. April 1939.
No. 4. Egg auctions; selected references. July 1939.
No. 5. Acts administered by Agricultural Marketing Service. October 1939.
No. 6. Periodicals relating to shipping. October 1939. :
No. 7. Electrical properties of cotton; some references to the literature,
1931 date. November 1939. .
No. 8. Sea island cotton; selected references. November 1939. *:
No. 9. Cotton picking machinery, a short list of references. March 1940.
No. 10. The tomato industry in Puerto Rico and Cuba; a short list of refer-
ences. June 1940.
No. 11. The dairy industry in the United States; selected references on the :
economic aspects of the industry. July 1940. '
No. 12. Planning for the farmer; a short reading list of free and inexpen- |
sive material. July 1940.
No. 13. Indirect flood damages; a list of references. August 1940.
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