Irrigation Canal Breech Affects 4,500 People in SE Kennewick / F - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Irrigation Canal Breech Affects 4,500 People in SE Kennewick / Finley

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - Nearly two months to the day after a massive KID canal breach in Finley, it has happened again. An estimated 4,500 customers will be without irrigation water for the next few days.

The Kennewick Irrigation District has crews out working 12-hour rotating shifts until it is fixed. 

The breach is in nearly the same exact spot the canal was breached back in late June. Once again it is being blamed on burrowing squirrels that are messing with the canal infrastructure. 

A customer notified KID of the breach around 5:30 a.m. Thursday. Immediately, workers shut off the water but it takes several hours for the canal to drain. 

While the water was flowing at about 45,000 gallons per minute when it happened, the effects aren't quite as bad as last time.

"Flows in the canals are very similar. Any time you're in an earthen embankment situation, you're really stuck with whatever ground is underneath the canals. So in this particular case there seems to be a layer of material that isn't as erodable as the last one and should help us with our repair effort," said Jason McShane of the Kennewick Irrigation District.

The June breach cost about $130,000 to repair. KID expects it will cost about the same this time. 

Customers will be reimbursed for any property damage and that is covered through KID's liability insurance.


KENNEWICK, WA - The Kennewick Irrigation District says about 4,500 families in Southeast Kennewick and Finley won't have irrigation water for the next few days.KID says it's working to repair a breach in the Division 4 Canal near Game Farm Road and Oak Street. The district turned off the irrigation water early Thursday morning to assess the damages.

KID says crews will repair the Division 4 canal as quickly as possible, but it's a large break which will mean a multiple-day outage. 

The same area experienced an irrigation outage back in June, when crews had to trench a new canal to repair another breech.