Water ResourcesPeople and Issues
Conservation Service; TVA. Jim Goddard, of course, was a great help in this
It seemed obvious to try to involve somebody from the Corps in the follow-up
studies at this stage. Dick Hertzler was one of those who I recall was
interested at the time. I can't recall all of the people who were involved. But
permission was obtained for Murphy to use a research fellowship grant from
the Office of the Secretary of the Army to come and work at Chicago. He
completed his study and it was published in '58. The effect of doing this
was, on the one hand, to check at an early stage all of our findings and
methods against somebody who knew the Corps from the inside, and, on the
other hand, to make our findings more credible to people in the Corps
because here was one of their own who was participating and having an
opportunity to say exactly what he wanted to say.
Q: Do you know whether Murphy had any problems in the Corps as a result of
A: Unfortunately, he died early. I don't know what the course of events would
have been if he'd lived longer. I remember his telling me at the time that
there were some people in his office . . .
Q .. At Seattle?
A: Yes . . . who felt that he was wasting his time on this kind of enterprise. But
by and large, he'd had interested and supportive comments from other people.
Q: Were you aware, and were people in the field aware at this time, that in fact
the cost of flood damages had increased since the 1936 Flood Control Act
despite all the flood control measures that had been developed by the Corps
and other agencies? Was that something that was pretty well known or
something that only comes out as a result of some of these kinds of studies?
A: It was something that was suspected but there hadn `t been any solid evidence.
And people didn't quite know how to interpret some of the aggregated
national statistics. One reason for doubt was that the damage data on the
national level were poor data. There has been and still is no genuine
uniformity in the mode of collecting flood damage data and so one was