Several oversized pieces of bent, broken, and rusted steel were hauled from the river by Southern California Edison Company crews. A small but hardy group of river users has also been on a mission to clean up the river of dangerous deposits left over from previous floods (“Hazardous debris being removed from Kaweah River’s Middle Fork,” December 27, 2013).
“This season’s unusually low river flows have enabled both SCE and other local citizens to both locate and remove this debris that would normally be well below the river surface,” said Brian Thoburn, SCE region manager.
On Monday, Dec. 30, Edison workers removed a penstock and I-beam, lodged in the Kaweah River downstream from SCE’s Hydroelectric Powerhouse No. 3 at the Sequoia boundary. On Monday, Jan. 6, crews returned to remove the steel bridge truss from the upstream side of the Pumpkin Hollow Bridge.
The truss was too embedded to be removed in one piece so the exposed portion was cut out.
“The truss was by far the most dangerous piece of steel in the river,” said Bill Pooley of Three Rivers, an avid kayaker who administrates the Kaweah River Page (http://c2.com/kaweah/index.html). “I have seen several rafters out of their raft being swept right by the hazard.”
SCE spent over 40 man hours removing these hazards, Bill said.
“I am very pleased with Edison’s investment of time and effort to make the river safer,” he continued. “Thank you, Edison company, for a job well done!”