Canal flows to increase

FERNLEY -- Water flows in the Truckee Canal that breached and flooded hundreds of homes in January should be increased by next week, federal officials said.

Betsy Reike, area manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said flows will increase to 250 cubic feet per second by May 10 after officials review final reports on emergency, maintenance, monitoring and improvement plans for the water system.

Water flows have been limited to 150 cfs, dramatically less than peak capacity of 750 cfs, since the canal resumed carrying water in March after emergency repairs.

The federal agency determined that burrowing rodents caused the Jan. 5 canal break, which flooded nearly 600 homes and led to state and federal disaster declarations.

After the state and federal agencies monitor the flow of 250 cfs for a period of time, Reike said, the next step is to increase it to 350 cfs, or 47 percent of the typical flow.