Farmers in Wyoming and Nebraska affected by an irrigation tunnel collapse are losing hope their crops will be salvageable.

Over 100,000 acres (40,000 hectares) of crops on hundreds of farms in both states have been without irrigation water since the tunnel collapse July 17. The tunnel is part of an irrigation system spanning over 100 miles (160 kilometers).

The Casper Star-Tribune reports officials don’t expect water to be restored for at least two more weeks. Gering-Ft. Laramie Irrigation District Manager Rick Preston says farmers expect losses.

Preston says corn will be devastated but sugar beets could survive because their roots are deeper. Farmers say they hope federal crop insurance will cover some losses.

The cost to repair the century-old tunnel is nearing $4 million.


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