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Crews working around the clock to fix canal, restore water

RICHLAND, Wash. – After a canal break Friday night, some Richland residents are dealing with the damage.

"It was a lot of water. It was like a rushing river coming down,” said resident Ruth Drennan.

Drennan lives next to the canal and got close up view of the canal breach that sent gallons of water down the streets of her neighborhood.

"It just was very surprising. I figured they had a problem,” said Drennan.

Less than a day later, the water is under control, but it did leave some damage.

“It undermined our driveway and totally took the driveway out,” said Brennan.

But, the Kennewick Irrigation District and the City of Richland are working hard to fix the canal.

Officials say tumbleweeds and construction debris clogged a pipe in the canal, causing water to rise over the banks of the canal.

"Right now our crews are focused on repairing the damage that’s in the road and right of ways- so the street and the drive entrances into and out of people’s homes. Then they will start restoring the canal as soon as possible,” said Jason McShane, Engineering and Operations Manager for the Kennewick Irrigation District.

KID says there is some damage inside homes, but most of the damage is to people’s landscapes and the roads.

“It’s a horrible accident that’s happened. Sometimes canals break and it’s our job to make sure we get in and fix them as fast as possible and make sure we reduce the amount of property damage as best we can,” said McShane.

KID says they’re in the process of lining over 70 miles of canal through their capital improvement plan to reduce risk of this happening again. This canal is on the list and will be done this offseason.

“You can’t do anything about it. It happened and they’re going to take care of fixing it. You kind of just have to live with these things when they happen," added Drennan.

KID says crews will be out Saturday night and Sunday morning to fix the canal. Water should be back on next week.

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