Monday, Feb. 13, 2017

Dam crisis

Crews work to seal spillway that forced evacuations

Authorities were releasing water to lower the lake's level after weeks of heavy rains. WILLIAM CROYLE / DWR

Reuters

Reuters & Sacramento Bee

Emergency crews early today prepared loads of rock to be dropped by helicopters to seal a crumbling spillway that threatens to inundate communities along the Feather River. Almost 200,000 people were ordered Sunday to evacuate from the area below the Lake Oroville Dam, the tallest dam in the United States, after authorities said its emergency spillway could give way.

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Feds and state ignored the warnings 12 years ago

Mercury News

More than a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California's largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 185,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe.

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Here's a breakdown of what happened at the dam

Los Angeles Times

California officials are frantically trying to rapidly reduce water levels behind Oroville Dam after issuing evacuation orders for more than 100,000 people who live downstream. Here's an explainer for the current crisis, and how authorities are racing to prevent catastrophic flooding from affecting the Central Valley.

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