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Letter to the Federal Works Administrator on the Flood Disaster in the Pacific Northwest.

June 01, 1948

Dear General Fleming:

The disaster caused by the unprecedented floods in the Pacific Northwest makes it imperative that the full resources of the Federal Government be mobilized immediately to furnish such emergency assistance as can be made available through the various Federal agencies. The Housing and Home Finance Agency and the Corps of Engineers are already rendering emergency assistance, but their efforts can and should be supplemented by those of other Federal agencies. Accordingly, I am directing you to coordinate the efforts of all Federal agencies in alleviating hardship and suffering caused by this disaster.

All Federal agencies will cooperate with state and local governments and relief agencies and render such assistance as may be within the power and authority of the Federal Government.

I am also requesting that you, together with the Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of the Army, and the Housing and Home Finance Administrator, make an immediate investigation and report to me the facts concerning the disaster and any recommendations you deem appropriate concerning the need for additional legislative authority to meet emergencies of this character.

I am asking the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Interior to begin at once a review of the long range plans of those agencies for the Columbia Basin development with a view to proposing such modifications as may be appropriate in the light of the present disaster.



[Major General Philip B. Fleming, Administrator, Federal Works Agency, Washington, D.C.]

Note: On June 2 the President transmitted to Congress a supplemental appropriation estimate for $600,000 to be used for disaster relief, and on June 25 he approved a bill which appropriated $500,000 to remain available until June 30, 1949 (62 Stat. 1031).

On June 11 the President approved a joint resolution providing $10 million for temporary housing for Vanport, Oreg., flood victims (62 Stat. 356).

Harry S Truman, Letter to the Federal Works Administrator on the Flood Disaster in the Pacific Northwest. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232324

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