Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 21, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 16, 2008
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
December 1, 1983
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP85M00364R001001540010-3.pdf191.71 KB
Approved For Release 2008/06/16: CIA-RDP85M00364RO01001540010-3 of the Thd 'Rateo 11 3inunt of Represent tiUE5 HARRY REID NEVADA . COMMITTEES: FOREIGN AFFAIRS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TRAVEL AND TOURISM CAUCUS SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGING December 1, 1983 Mr. John N. McMahon Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Central Intelligence Agency Washington, D.C. 20505 Dear Mr. McMahon: . Please find enclosed the newspaper article by Dino Brugioni Congressman Harry Reid discussed with you. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to call. EDIE BARKER O WASHINGTON OFFICE: 1711 LONGWORTH HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515, (202) 225-5965 0 LAS VEGAS OFFICE: 420 FEDERAL BUILDING, 300 LAS VEGAS BLVD., So.. LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 89101, (702) 385-6545 0 HENDERSON/BOULDER CITY OFFICE: 201 LEAD STREET. ROOM 26, HENDERSON, NEVADA 89015, (702) 565.0057 Approved For Release 2008/06/16: CIA-RDP85M00364RO01001540010-3 ue owns no stock in the three cunt- quarters t ninylon, u.t,., Approved For Release 2008/06/16: CIA-RDP85MOO364ROO1001540010-3 bletechn~.Iogycouldhav~. stopped floo. t3y ono A. Bruglont News Service he massive flooding pow plagu?i . ing the West largely could have, :burn prevented by a. federal govern; anent that had the technology, meth- nudulugy data and expertise to do so, but for a variety of bureaucratic rea?' ns; chose not to. The National Weather Service bombarded us with the news that the snowfall in the mountains was of record proportions and in some ar- eas was two, three and four times the normal fall. While there was am- pie warning of an-impending disas. .are, little or nothing was done in 11'asha,gton to plan any action to lie's of damage now being done. Gerald Wlliams, chief National Wunther Service hydrologist at Salt Luke City, said last week that the gu a rnment does not have enough how and runoff guages in the Rocky ". Mountains to quickly predict a sud- d~n and serious snow melt. Yet the Louis and expertise were - The NASA satellite photos were clear, detailed and encom- passed the areas of snow melt con. cerned. Additional data could have been provided by NASA or Air Force photographic overflights, - The U.S. Geological Survey had available maps of the areas of concern, of sufficient detail and the scale required for snow melt.mea- surement and analysis. Iles had detailed knowledge of the NASA and the Department of De- geology of the affected area; the ar? fense. As a result of this lack of eas of erosion and silting were well. coordination. and cooperation, cities known from previous rains and snow and towns had little or no warning of melts. Chronic problems that exist impending diuster, although the ar? on Slide Mountain between Carson eas and the magnitude of the clam. City and Reno were also well known. age could have been accl-rately pre. ? dieted . Why then was not this talent, .ex?. been positioned for hugging. 'I'hea pertise and- equipment organized It seems strange, that in matters I data on water flow in the streams and applied? Why was there no mas? I involving the national security oat- it and rivers was comprehensive. ter plan of action? Why was there I side our borders - such as landing - The Defense Mapping Agency and the CIA have excellent photo- grammetie capabilities which could have been used to measure and com- pute the amount of snow and the attendant run-off water that would come from such snow packs. The lay of the snow in the mountains and the streams to which the water would flow could-also' easily have been determined. With the now computed, areas of flooding could have been predicted. little or no warning of disaster to those concerned? From my experi? ence of over 40 years within the fed. era/ establishment, experts from the cited organizations would have been willing, even eager, to give their tal- ents to spare the suffering and darn the Marines in Lebanon, or remov inq troops from the Sinai in imple menbng the Camp David accords task forces are organized with ex- perts from the various agencies de? tached from their regular duties and i assigned to aid in the planning and There were many options: - The U.S. Army Engineers had experts in the construction of levees, the channelization uf' water, and flood and neat control problems. Earth?n oving "uipinunt could have been pre?positiunud in the flood . ? prone areas. Sand could also have - The Tennessee Valley Author- 1 ity has developed an elaborate tele- conferencing system for drawing, down dams and reservoirs to contain heavy runoffs from ruins and snows. Their model could easily have been adapted. are done to our Western states.. execution of a particular mission. - The U.S. Army has tons of The fault lies with management in Yet, when at comes to domestic aging explosives that it is willing to use on worthwhile' projects. On ad- the federal executive and with the matters involving the nation's eco- i i r h F eters , oto nterp ce rom expert p Congress that did not encourage, or- ( nomic security, little or nothing is v I gistrs, der or legislate such cooperation. + done. I am convinced that had a task geologists, h and and been h) iutu nter ete yd ulugists or mud Each organization went its separate.Il, force of experts been organized to and uncoordinated way. The Na. I report directly to the president and I holding or trapping areas created. tional Weather Service relied mainly the Congress, the material damage -There are many local, state and on ground observations rather than J to the Western states and the loss of academic organizations possessing using space-age techniques devel? life, could have been substantially' additional knowledge and equip- oped by the intelligence agencies, controlled and reduced. i ment that could auve been brought - Within the federal establish- ment, there already exists the com- puter capacity to process and ana- l-Le the data required for this task. - Local; state and federal agen?, Approved For Release 2008/06/16: CIA-RDP85MOO364RO01001540010-3 to bear on the problem. At the very, ? least, state road crews, private con!;; struction contractors and the Na.'? tional Guard should have been fully,' mobilized as if for a catastrophic, blizzard. The total amount of money and effort expended on the creation of a tusk force would have been minima compared to the cost to the federal government in loans and aid to di-` :Z, saster victims. And this does not., take into account the pain and suf- ' fering that the victims would have been spored. .We have learned much from this year's experience. But meteorology' gists have warned that we might ex- perience record snowfalls for, the' next three years. It's not too early, >- therefore, to start planning for the ti. creation of a national task force pro. . vided with the beat of data and equipment, and staffed by the finest. state, federal and academic experts;,,,` Dino A. Brugionl is a retired senior; official and reconaissance and phor, to interpretation expert for the Cenr? tral intelligence Agency.