IID assesses latest storm damage

Glamis Wash. Courtesy photo.

IMPERIAL VALLEY — The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) is currently assessing the storm damage from this weekend, according to Marion Champion, IID communications officer. Water and power were both affected.

Champion commented on the latest issues.

“We had several canals wash out and drains that overfilled in the Calexico and the North End divisions due to heavy rains that fell in in a short timeframe,” said Champion. “We received runoff from the desert east of Niland through the siphons (approximately 150 cubic feet per second). Water department staff made repairs Friday and continued this work throughout the weekend. Inspections and repairs are continuing today.”

“As far as energy goes, the storm first moved into Calexico, damaging major power lines in the area,” said Champion. “It then made its way up to Holtville, Niland, and Calipatria areas. It then moved on to Winterhaven/Bard area. It also impacted the Mecca/Thermal and Bermuda Dunes areas in our La Quinta division. The storm damaged critical infrastructure and other property, including major transmission lines, distribution lines and power poles. Approximately 100 power poles were knocked down or damaged. We are still patrolling lines this morning and that number may change.”

IID and Irby crews have been working 24-hours a day to make repairs, according to Champion.

IID requested Mutual Aide assistance on Friday Night. IID has received help from:
*    SDG&E
*    Riverside Power Utility
*    SCE

“We had isolated outages in several areas during the storm,” continued Champion. “Imperial and La Quinta troubleshooters and our operators worked to restore power in most areas relatively quickly, within minutes or hours for most customers.”

Areas hardest hit were the Winterhaven/Bard area and Niland.

*    Transmission poles were impacted in the Winterhaven/Bard area. Due to flash flooding, crews were unable to patrol the lines until the weather subsided. Residents in this area (aprox 1,000) lost power Friday afternoon. Power was restored them by Sat mid-morning.

*    There was a lot flooding in Niland. As of this morning, 73 “customers” are without power in Niland, several of these “customers” are meter/pump accounts so it’s hard to say what the true impact is right now.

*    Shelters have opened in Niland by the Red Cross and Winterhaven by Paradise Casino for anyone who was displaced by the storm. Red Cross closed the Niland shelter this morning.

The IID board is being asked to adopt an emergency proclamation.

The IID is still working on cost estimates.