Wild Pigs Cause Canal Breach, Flood Damages Grapes

Wild pigs burrowing underground are believed to be the cause of a massive canal breach that sent water gushing onto a valley roadway and put homeowners on alert.At this hour, crews are still working to repair the levee in the area of Highway 180 and Frankwood, northwest of Sanger.The race is on for fourth generation wine grape grower Michael Shoffner.Schoffner says, "The opening of the canal was about a vehicle size. Right now we are looking at damage to the grapes because of the water. We are maybe 30 to 40 percent loss possibly. We are looking at a 2 to 3 day process to pump the water out of the property. We will then get in and spray chemicals to protect the crop."It's a process that takes more time, man power and money about $5,000 or more which Schoffner doesn't have.But the alternative is losing everything.Thankfully Alta Irrigation District crews were able to divert the water and stop the flow before anything was lost.Several claims have already been made to Alta Irrigation's insurance company.Crews should be done with the repairs to the canal by next week.