Crews have begun permanent repairs to a section of an earthen irrigation canal that ruptured in Fernley, flooding hundreds of homes after unusually heavy rain early this month.
U-S Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Jeffrey McCracken says dirt fill used for the temporary fix will be removed before the 50-foot hole is refilled with new, stronger material.
He says the breach will be filled with regular soil, covered with sand and topped with cobbled rock.
He says the smaller-sized sand will prevent particles from pushing into the embankment, while the rock will help keep rodents such as gophers and muskrats out of the bank.
President Bush has declared portions of the town 30 miles east of Reno a national disaster area, making federal relief available to hundreds of people whose homes were swamped by the January fifth
McCracken says work on the permanent repairs began Tuesday and will take about 10 days to complete.
The bureau leases the 32-mile canal to the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, which uses it to send Truckee River water south to Fallon-area farms.