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Newspaper Page Text
Imperial Valley Press.
VOL. VI WHAT THE WATER IS DOING Progress of Channel Cutting in New River Renders the Valley Free From Danger of Flood. Main Canal Carried Away and Water On Wednesday afternoon we took a trip to the main canal and as far west as the Five headgates to see just what was being done and had been done by the water during the week since we had visited it before. We drove from El Centro due south up the Date canal to where it heads in the main canal and went from there west to the Five headgates and what we saw Is well worth going many miles to see. We saw the entire process of channel cut ting exemplified on a large scale. Ar riving at the head of the Date canal we could see by the water lines on the levee and on the posts In the fence with which the levee had been pro tected, that the water had fallen about three inches at that point from Its highest point which It had reached a few days before. ■ The dredger of the California De velopment company was at work In the main canal a short distance east of this place building up the south bank of the canal. ' •• We drove west along on top of the levee and could note a very rapid fall ~ln the water, the current being very swift. * About hall way between the head of the Date ditch and the head .of the Dahlia we passed a number of men at work filling .sacks with dirt, ferrying them across the canal in a boat and putting them on the south bank. The south bank was just begin ning to show above the water, which is falling rapidly all along there. Just south of the canal Is a house formerly occupied by Mr. W. H. Fry and from which he has been driven by the flood for nearly a year past: The water had been nearly up to the" top of the doors at Its highest point but when we were there Wednesday afternoon the water had' fallen about 18 Inches. This showed a fall of about 15 Inches in the water level In a half mile. It had fallen 3 inches at the head of the Date canal and this house of Mr. Fry's Is located about midway between there and the head of the Dahlia canal, which Is one mile west. From the Fry place west the water falls very rapidly and when we were 'here which was about five o'clock Wednesday af ternoon the beginning of the overpour was about 300 feet west of the head of the Dahlia canal. From that point a most Interesting sight was presented. For a distance of more than a quarter of a mile south and In a nearly straight line the water was pouring over a drop of about six feet and consequently the entire surface of the country was prac tically all being carried away to that depth. After making this fall the water seemed to be cutting into chan nels of greater or less size but It all seemed to come together within a quarter of a mile and. run In a deep, swift flowing channel from there on. The entire main canal and levee was carried away from the head of. the Dahl a canal to the point west of the Evergreen heading where the loop or ••shoo-fly" was built when the levee was constructed. The Evergreen \ headgate and the great cement drop in the main canal were both carried away and where these structures form* erly stood Is now a deep channel about 500 feet wide In which a seething, boiling flood Is rushing and there Isn't a ves'age of the structures remaining. The volume of water doing this erod ing Is apparently coming from off the flooded lands south of the main canal and between there and the old Beach ditch, which Is located on the highest land along next to Cameron Lake and the old channel of New river. The main channel of the river was cutting its way somewhere in the mesquite covered country about three-quarters of a mile south of the head of the In fact, it seemed like a r?.ce be tween the. two channels, the main channel and the' one that Is carrying away the main canal, as to which shall get to Cameron Lake first. It is be •lleved that whichever reaches the lake first will draw water so rapidly that it will become the main channel. There Is no doubt now however, but that the main channel is the one cutting out In the mesquites about a half mile south of the channel we have just described. There Is a roar like .Niagara Falls over there and at the two places below there where we could see the main channel we saw mesquite trees and driftwood in great quantities hurrying by. From the Dahlia heading we drove west keeping back a respectful distance from the bank of the channel as it is cutting back into the farms very rapidly, great slices of dirt tum bling in all the time. About a quarter of a mile below where the Evergreen heading formerly stood the channel turns to the southwest and runs Into the main channel 'which is but ilttle more than a quarter of a mile distant As the channel we.were looking down was about 600 feet wide we could get quite a satisfactory view of the main channel. While we could not judge accurately of its width we feel certain It was at least 1000 feet wide and the banks on the farthest side at least. 25 feet high. It seemed to run right alongside some big sand dunes at this point which doubtless added to the helghth of the bank. The water in the main channel Is very swift and great quantities of driftwood and* large numbers of mesquite trees float by in an endless procession. It Is a sight one doesn't get to see many times In a life time and furnished a startling evi dence of what Colorado river *ater will do to Imperial Valley land If it ap plied In too large quantities. Going on down to the Five headgates we walked on the top of the levee or rath er on what Is left of It for before the water cut out its present course to the main channel it ran with terrific force along this levee and cut it very nearly through In a number of places. A large channel was washed where the old waste way from the Five headgates ran to New river and this channel was cutting out the old channel of the main canal and cutting away the levee whe<i the cutting out of the I main channel gave the water an opportunity to cut across near the Evergreen heading and reach the channel more directly. This trip ' was taken In company AND TMIi IMI'IiKIAI. PRESS EL CENTRO. CALIFORNIA. JUNE 9. 1906 wltb Mr. Ira Ateh.who had been over the same ground the day before and he was astounded at what a work the water had wrought in the 24 hours. According to his judgment the channel along the former line of the main canal had cut out at least a mile and was cutting more rapidly when we were there than It was the day before. The work that Is being done now Is in an effort to dam the main canal shut the water out of it so there will be no discharge from It to cause the bank to cut away and then endeavor to deflect the course of the channel away from the canal by dyna miting. This may or may not be suc cessful but as the quantity of water coming around this way is bound to decrease the channel should not cut away the main canaj very much more. The action of the water In cutting this channel and carrying away the main canal for a half mile, which Includes the evergreen heading, one of the best on the system, was so unexpected that it took both the California Develop ment company and Imperial Water company No.. 1 by surprise. However there was no time to lose. The carry ing away of the main canal at this point cut off the water supply to about 50,000 acres of land and this Included Brawley and Imperial Water company No. 4 besides a large area in Water company No. 1 north of Imperial and Mesquite Lake as well as all the terri tory under the Elder, Elm and Eucalyp tus canals. Prompt work was demanded for hun dreds of thousands of dollars worth of property is at stake. The cantaloupes will need" irrigating within a week and while the alfalfa could go a month or two the cows and hogs must have wat er all the time. However it don't take long to get action anymore and we saw an evidence of it. The evergreen heading went out about 8 o'clock in the morning and by noon a big crew of teams with scrapers were at work on a.canal to carry water from the Dahlia canal to the Brawley main so that all the people up there can ' be served. This canal will only need to be one half mile long and we passed along there after six o'clock and the canal was more than half done; the lumber was on the ground for the headgate This prompt work will supply Brawley and Number Four and the lands north of Imperial with water for stock and cantaloupes almost at once. Another cross ditch was begun at once to carry water to the Five headgates for deliv ery to the lands under the Elder, Elm and Eucalyptus systems. A call was Issued Thursday for three hundred teams to put In this cross ditch first as a temporary exped ient and later to construct the mile or more of main canal to connect around the break with the Five headgates. So quickly will this work be done that It Is not believed that any damage will result to crops from the few days they will be out of water. On Thursday the work of dynamiting In the main chan nel was resumed and that channel was thus carried forward quite a distance beyond the one that was washing away the main canal. This had the effect, of drawing the water away from tjie latter channel and it almost ceased cutting entirely. However during, Thursday night it carried away the' Dahlia heading and cut away the can al for a short distance above it but on Friday morning was scarcely cutting at all In fact from Wednesday after noon to Friday morning this channel did not cut back more than 400 feet while the main channel cut for more than a mile and was just about enter- Ing Cameron Lake. It Is expected to quickly draw the water away from the channel at the main canal so that it will not cut anymore. The south bank has been strengthened and Is above water practically to the brink of the channel so It Is In good shape to han dle. The water was turned out of the main canal on Thursday afternoon and as soon as it drains out the dredger will build a dam across It just as close to the break as It can be put. From this point to the Five headgates a new main canal will be built just as soon as men and teams can build It and this should not be more than a few days. The past week has been one of quick changes In the water situation. At the beginning of the week quite a large area of the Valley was in more or less danger of Inundation. • Now there is no danger to any of it and only a small area at Calexlco that could possibly be damaged by floods outside of Water company No. 6 and there the water Is being drawn off very rapidly by the channel cutting In New river. In another week no doubt the chan nel will have entered Mexico and all possibility of floodlng'this Valley be at an end. Murder at Brawley A most foul murder was committed at Brawley on last Saturday night or early Sunaay morning and so mysteri ously was it done and so slight are the clews that so far there does not seem to be any trace of the murderer. A number of men were sleeping out near the cantaloupe packing house and the one that was' murdered made down his bed beeide a hand car on the ground and retired somewhat earlie- than the rest. On Sunday morning his dead body was found just as he had slept. The murderer had evidently waited until sure that everyone was sleeping sound ly, when he crept to the space where he lay, and taking a heavy crow-bar 'from the hand car dealt the sleeping man a terrific blow on the head, crushed A glance at this Map will show ip^CENTRO /At^f^W W '--^' beconie tlie T R O F» O L 1 S ■jo^Mr of the iSIMPERIALVALLEY my 1 t < , tsr\\ss.. l >e«'» bpent in building and permanent improvements in El C^ntroiS the hint five month*. Come and seo for yourself. This i« ft#e'tpw»of n ;/ PROGRESS Wm El Centro Land Co. tnm Lands for Sale D. 11. CHAPLIN, * Insurance General Agent Notary Public «^ ss J^Jjttfc I Cal,irOfnla his skull and evidently killing him In stantly. Then the fiend struck the dead man several times with the heavy instrument to make sure that he had accomplished his purpose, afterward, slinking away. He has succeeded In covering his tracks so well that the au thorities have no clue to his Identity. Robbery was evidently not the motive for the crime, as all of his money, $104 was found on the body. A letter signed by Homer Smlthson was the only means of Identifying the remains. It was learned that the man's name; was D. R. Hornsby and that he had lately come from Los Angeles. An Inquest was held over the remains by Judge Holloway of Brawley and a ver dict rendered In accordance with the above facts. The officers are working on the case but are not giving out their ideas as to the Identity of the murderer even If they have any. During the week ending June 2nd the water In Salton sea rose 3 feet and 4 Inches. It is raising about 7 Inches per day this week and has about 15 feet to raise * before It reaches the Southern Pacific tracks. It v will be there pretty soon. W. H. Webber Is building a cosy-V cottage on his lot near D. D. Pellet*, house and will become a resident of El Centro In a short time. Mr. Web-, ber has been the "Ice man" at Imper ial for a long time but has accepted a position with the Holton Power Co. In. their ice manufactory. Mr. J. R. Johnson, of Rocky Ford,-', arrived this week and will inspect can taloupes at the E! Centro packing house. Mr. Johnson has had wide ex perience in cantaloupes and says that Albert Hart has the finest field of can taloupes he has ever seen in his life. Quite considerable shipments of canta loupes are being made every day now and the packing house will be In fulL blast within a week.