Reporting Derek Shore
PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) –For the first time, we’re getting a look at the canal breach that is forcing thousands of people in Placer County to conserve their water, and PG&E says it could be June before they fix the problem.
“Everything on this side and over here will be all brown without any water,” explains Colfax resident Carol Sheiber.
For Carol Sheiber, like any farmer, her lifeline is water. The Lincoln area farmer’s pastures are turning brown, and she has spent the last two weeks without any water to irrigate.
“We depend on the pasture for feed for the summer,” says Carol.
Carol is one of nine Placer County water customers without any irrigation water at all, while another 4,000 customers are experiencing rolling outages to cope.
But, nearly an hour away you’ll find the culprit – a PG&E canal in a remote area in Colfax which was torn apart by a landslide.
Crews are now hard at work to make the repairs, and while initial estimates put a completion date toward the end of the summer, PG&E now says this vital lifeline will be up and flowing again much sooner by the end of June.
“Our focus has been to put a solution in place as fast as possible,” say PG&E officials.
In fact, workers in Colfax could start to pour concrete on Monday.
In the meantime, all customers from Colfax to Rocklin are asked to conserve water as the farmers, including Carol, deal with an estimated $10 million in lost profits.
“Hurry up and get their act together and get us some water,” Carol said.
Meanwhile, PG&E is trucking in some water to customers, but they admit it’s a small fraction of what would be coming from the canal.