Friday, July 23, 2021
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St. Mary Canal failure in Montana impacting water in the Milk River

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The Alberta government is working to address impacts for people who use water from the Milk River after an infrastructure failure just south of the border.

Back in mid-May a concrete drop structure failed on the St. Mary Canal, which is located in northern Montana and owned by the U.S Bureau of Reclamation.

The canal diverts water from the St. Mary River to the Milk River.

Permanent repairs to the canal will begin immediately, with completion scheduled for September.

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Environment Minister Jason Nixon says the province recognizes the severity of the situation and the importance of the Milk River basin to surrounding communities.

With no canal in place, water licence holders in southern Alberta should be prepared for only natural flows on the Milk River throughout the summer.

Environment and Parks will support those water users in the Milk River basin with an updated water supply outlook, updates on infrastructure repairs south of the border, details on allotments and water use by each country and support for water conservation planning, as necessary.

Recreational users will also be impacted. Without diverted water via the St. Mary Canal, Milk River water levels will likely be too low this summer for activities like canoeing or kayaking.

Repairs to the canal will be paid for by U.S. officials.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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