Hod Kosman with Platte Valley Companies and Travis Hiner with the Oregon Trail Community Foundation have joined forces to establish a relief fund for assistance to those affected by the July 17 breach of the Ft. Laramie Canal.

The breach forced the Bureau of Reclamation to stop water deliveries to ag producers on the south side of the North Platte River in both Wyoming and Nebraska. Locally, about 105,000 acres of farmland are without irrigation.

Katie Gompert, director of marketing with Platte Valley Companies, said all contributions to the fund will be used to help in the effort to restore water to the canal and to support the ag families that are affected by the loss of irrigation water.

Platte Valley Companies planned to launch the fund on social media Friday, July 26, Gompert said, “Donations can be made at any Platte Valley Bank location in both Nebraska and Wyoming. They’re also being accepted on our website, pvbank.com/give.”

The funds will be received by the Oregon Trail Community Foundation and are tax-deductible. They’ll be used to supply food, water and other needed equipment to the crews that are rebuilding the canal breach and tunnel collapse.

Officials hope to make temporary repairs that could get water back into the canal in about three weeks.

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