Cars in irrigation canal are causing problems - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cars in irrigation canal are causing problems

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SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -   This is the time of year when abandoned cars start popping up, but not in the places you would expect.

Cars are now turning up in the irrigation canals. For Don Schramm, Assistant Manager of Operations at the Sunnyside Irrigation District, that's not too surprising. This is something he has to deal with every year.

"Our canals in most areas are eight to ten to eleven feet deep," Schramm said. "So we'll find cars, refrigerators, tires, quite a few objects that we have to get out of the canal when we de-water."

The Sunnyside Irrigation Canal starts in Parker and extends all the way down to Benton City, Schramm said. It's suppose to be used for irrigation, but obviously it's turned into a dumpsite and junkyard.

On Wednesday Schramm found not one, or two, but three cars just in a small stretch of the canal, and there are several more that need to be removed.

"This year is a little more than usual," Schramm said. "We have six cars in the canal this year, but normally we see two to five. Very seldom do we not have cars in the canal. It's a common occurrence we wish didn't happen.

Fortunately, the irrigation district doesn't have to pay to get the cars removed, but they do have to pay to remove the garbage, Schramm said.

Typically, the cars that are found in the canal are usually stolen and aren't usually recovered until now, when the water goes down, said the Yakima Police Department.