A federal agency intends to provide a $2.3 million loan to help pay for repairs to an irrigation system tunnel that collapsed last July, cutting off water to farmers in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming.

The loan will be in addition to a $3.8 million grant that Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has said the state will provide to the irrigation district.

The collapse left more than 150 square miles of cropland without water at the peak of summer.

Temporary repairs got the water flowing again by the end of August. Officials say permanent repairs are expected to cost about $16 million.

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