Jeff Estes was having a meal out at Country Mercantile late Friday afternoon, when he got a call from a neighbor.
Water from a Kennewick Irrigation District canal was flowing down Bridle Drive in south Richland’s Country Ridge neighborhood.
Estes arrived home — after hiking up the hill past neighboring homes — to find an irrigation crew digging in his Bridle Drive yard.
Workers were digging up a chunk of his lawn to channel the water and make sure it flowed around the north and south sides of his home and into the backyard, rather than flooding his house.
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As KID started filling the Badger East Canal for the start of the irrigation season, the water hid a plug of weeds as it flowed under Bridle Drive just downhill from Appaloosa Way.
About 4 p.m., the backed-up water overflowed the canal and began pouring down Bridle Drive.
Unable to free the plug hidden beneath the street, KID brought in heavy equipment to rip up the road and cut a trench across the street to divert the water back into the canal.
Most of the water was diverted by about 5:45 p.m., with some still flowing down the mud-covered Bridle Drive.
About 12 houses were along the section of the street that flooded.
Water flowed into some garages and crawl spaces and at least one basement, said KID manager Chuck Freeman, who was at Country Ridge. Damage was still being assessed Friday evening.
Estes’ house sits slightly downhill from street level. Water dampened about a foot-wide strip just inside his garage before crews diverted it around his house and into the backyard. Small sandbags were placed along the front of his garage.
Three to four inches of mud covered part of his front walkway and his yard was a mess. But other than the garage, the canal water remained outside his home.
Down the street, a neighbor was shoveling mud into a dam to keep water from running any farther onto his driveway.
Freeman said a rotor will be used to unclog the area of the canal that clogged.