(Neb)-Water Finally Flowing To Canal, Tunnel Again
GERING - Water began flowing in the Ft Laramie Irrigation Canal last night for the first time since its Tunnel #2 collapsed and caused a breach in the canal wall on July 17th.
Crews have spent the past month making temporary repairs to the tunnel and permanent repairs to the canal wall.
Although there was water in the canal last night, Gering Ft Laramie Irrigation District manager Rick Preston says it will take a while to reach the level needed to start serving growers in his district and the Goshen Irrigation District in Wyoming.
When deliveries do begin, it will be at a scaled-back level with the likelihood that growers will get no more than about 80% of their entitlement to avoid overtaxing the temporary repairs.
The federal Bureau of Reclamation is considering extending the irrigation season because of the 6-week shutdown, but Preston tells KNEB news it will probably be about 2 weeks before a decision is made.
During the shutdown and repairs, the BOR examined 2 other tunnels and determined both had concerns. Preston says Tunnel #1, about 6-miles upstream from Tunnel #2, received repairs to a couple spots where the concrete has popped out slightly.
The two irrigation districts also hauled out dirt from the canal where the contractors working on Tunnel #2 had piled it.
No decision has been made yet on permanent repairs with a few options being reviewed. Preston says a decision is probably a couple weeks away.
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