Officials expect irrigation water to be restored this week

Aftermath of tunnel collapse just south of Fort Laramie (Source Joe and Kynn Kinnan)
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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Officials expect water to start flowing again to Wyoming and Nebraska farmers by the end this week after their irrigation water was cut off last month when a tunnel collapsed.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the Goshen Irrigation District announced that crews finished construction on the tunnel Monday and are in the cleanup phase.

The irrigation tunnel in southeast Wyoming collapsed July 17, leaving more than 150 square miles (388 square kilometers) of croplands in the two states without water.

Crop losses are projected to be in the tens of millions of dollars.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that federal crop insurance will cover some of the losses.

Officials are looking into options for a permanent fix, including installing a fiberglass tube or rerouting the irrigation system.