Mar 9, 2017 - Johnnie Hubenka, RivertonEditor:
The so-called north channel below LeClair head gate and the so-called dike was totally washed out in the high water of 2011, plus 25,000 cubic yards of gravel pulled out of the north channel, and it will not even hold the Wind River winter flow.
Is anybody smart enough to figure out that dike did not move the water to the old south channel? Wherever the river moves back and forth in the flood plain does not affect property lines as they were surveyed in the early 1900s. LeClair irrigation, big headlines on the high water spring run-off. A very easy fix. But that does not make much news or pictures.
As far as the refrigerator in the 1990s, maybe that's where Dickie Baldes and Dave Skates kept their beer cold.
Why would LeClair Irrigation waste money on engineers to guess how much water the north channel will hold?
Hell, the flood plain is a mile wide, so it runs over at less than 2000 cvs. LeClair wasted thousands to dig a big hole at the headset. No wonder the water is backing up.
Downstream of the headset on the canal bank, LeClair installed a 2 1/2 foot-high dike for a half mile that the water will probably never touch. Last summer big news was that LeClair was not being run by Wyoming water laws as it has for nearly a century.
It is now a rotation system. Anything to get out of work. Now big news is snow pack. LeClair makes the paper again.
The only part of the big Ranger write-up that was true was that LeClair shot themselves in the foot.
As far as all of the dikes the engineers are going to install in the south channel, they will dissolve like sugar.
If the North Channel is not on grade, Bobby Lane should be responsible, as the LeClair board paid him to sit in his pickup and watch.
Maybe the LeClair board has their heads in the sand. The LeClair canal is a century old and has withstood all floods.
Judge Johnson stated in his order that the Wind River had moved to the south channel in 1998, and LeClair had caused it to move from bank stabilization over the years.
The LeClair headgate has a cement dam approximately 330 feet wide, and the river dropped about 12 feet on the downstream side.
Over the last 60 years, the spring runoff has washed away out the meander for miles above the headgate, causing it to run faster along the sand rock bluff, carving river rock and silt, causing the structure to be covered and filling the north channel 3/8 of a mile down stream, causing it to go south.
The contractor has removed 25,000 cubic yards from the north channel downstream in places. In places, the old north is less than 30 feet wide and the water is running out in the trees.
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