Crews have removed a plug of construction debris and tumbleweeds from the culvert in Country Ridge where water backed up and flooded Bridle Drive in Richland late Friday afternoon.
Wood, Styrofoam and plastics were among the construction trash that blocked water, said Jason McShane, engineering and operations manager for the Kennewick Irrigation District.
“I can’t stress enough that builders need good practices for construction debris,” he said.
Water poured down the street past about a dozen homes Friday. One basement, a storage area and landscaping were damaged, including where a trench was dug behind one house.
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Damage still was being assessed Monday, but the flood did not damage any home enough that residents had to find another place to stay, McShane said.
KID customers can go to the water map posted at www.kid.org to check on the status of water for their neighborhood.
The culvert was unplugged Friday night using Richland city equipment after a trench was dug crossing Bridle Drive to immediately reroute water across the road and limit flooding from the canal.
On Sunday, the trench was filled with gravel and the street was reopened to traffic where it had been blocked just downhill from Appaloosa Way. The asphalt still needs to be repaired.
Water should be back in the Badger East Canal on Tuesday or Wednesday, with the canal taking at least 18 hours to fill. Now almost two-thirds of south Richland and West Richland KID customers have water, McShane said.
Customers can check the water service map at www.kid.org for the status of service in their neighborhood.
The area of the Badger East Canal that flooded Friday had already been set for lining in the coming fall and winter with the help of a federal grant. Design of the work is being done now.
KID has lined more than 18 miles of earthen canal since 2010. The work stops one problem that causes flooding — burrowing animals that dig holes in the sides of the canals.
The earthen section of the Badger East Canal that overflowed Friday afternoon was scheduled for lining in the coming fall and winter.
The lining work also makes the walls of the canals higher, which would have kept the canal at Bridle Drive from flooding as quickly.
This winter, the last of the KID canals through urban areas should be lined, with the exception of the Canyon Lakes Golf Course and a small east Kennewick ditch, McShane said. About six more years are expected to be needed to finish lining all the KID earthen canal sections.
The Badger East Canal near Country Ridge had many tumbleweeds this year.
KID has not been able to do much burning of weeds this year because of the windy and unusually rainy spring, McShane said.
Crews were cleaning out the Badger East Canal in the week before the overflow and also were there Friday, he said. Clearing cannot be done too soon before water is turned on because more tumbleweeds blow in as soon as canals are cleared.
It also is typical in western states to use water as the canal is filled to move tumbleweeds to a central point for removal, McShane said.
The culvert that was blocked has had water started up more than 30 times without overflowing, he pointed out.