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(Audio) Loup Power District streams ahead with flood recovery efforts | KRVN Radio

(Audio) Loup Power District streams ahead with flood recovery efforts

(Audio) Loup Power District streams ahead with flood recovery efforts
Courtesy/Loup Public Power District. Nebraska National Guard pitches in to help move sandbags into place.

RRN Anchor Reporter Bob Brogan interview with Loup Public Power District President/CEO Neal Suess:   

Courtesy/Loup Public Power District.

Columbus, Neb. — Unprecedented flood damage to the Genoa Headworks and breaches in the Loup Power Canal have prompted an unprecedented response. Loup Power District President/CEO Neal Suess says the Headworks area, where water is taken out of the Loup River,  south and west of Genoa,  sustained the most damage in the March 14-15 storm and flooding…

“The concern right now is to fix all the breaches that we have. We have gotten the two major breaches that were allowing the water from the Loup River into the canal…we got that taken care of…and then we had a really large breach near the Highway 22 bridge south and west of Genoa that we also sealed up that was letting (releasing) most of the water that leaks out of the canal.”

Courtesy/Loup Public Power District. Many district structures damaged by flooding.

Suess says there was also some damage in the St. Edward area, where a Loup Power District substation was inundated by water from the Beaver Creek. That substation was taken off-line and a mobile substation owned by Nebraska Public Power District was brought in…

“We had some distribution and subtransmission lines south and west of Columbus that were also damaged…we’ve been anxious to get back into those areas and get the power restored and get most of that damage fixed.”

The canal suffered 6 to 7 breaches, including a breach of the entire intake section. But the canal’s concrete structures stayed in place. Still, the district’s power-generation capabilities have been seriously curtailed.

Suess says the district’s ability to generate electric power has been curtailed, but there are some good signs…

“We are hopeful within the next week or two to have enough of the canal fixed and enough of the property restored where we can start taking in a little bit more water than that…maybe a thousand, maybe 15-hundred  cubic feet per second of water and do a little bit more generation.”

Courtesy/Loup Public Power District. Nebraska National Guard help appreciated by Loup Public Power District.

The big emphasis now is working to make repairs along the weir structure which is 2 miles downstream from where the water comes into the canal…

Suess says temporary repairs are underway, but long-term, final design plans will have to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the timetable for that process is uncertain. Suess’ best guess is that it will be 12-18 months before necessary repairs allow the district to return to normal operation.

Suess remains  optimistic about temporary repairs and the design-build phase…

The Columbus-based   public power district serves about 20,000 meters, including many farmers and ranchers who depend on the canal to water stock and irrigate crops during their growing seasons.

 

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