Emergency release of water from Oroville Dam escalates

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:

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As water Thursday night rose toward the brim of the reservoir behind the damaged spillway of Oroville Dam, state officials braced for the unprecedented: having to open the emergency outlet of the tallest dam in the United States, which could have untold ecological consequences.

The trouble started Tuesday in the midst of relentless rainstorms, as a section of the concrete spillway that later grew to more than 200 feet wide and 30 feet deep collapsed, frothing the Feather River below like chocolate syrup, so thick with mud and debris that those toiling to save millions of salmon at the hatchery below could hardly see two inches beneath the surface.

Officials stopped releases to inspect the problem but runoff kept the reservoir rising. On Thursday morning, officials increased the flow. The fissure ballooned outward, sending coffee-colored water gushing down the adjacent hillside. …

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  1. Andrew Kessel says

    Anything to have control & crisis. I don’t believe these federal law breakers.

  2. Spillway collapse?
    Will they now sue the contractor that built it 50-years ago?
    BTW, did anyone warn the Delta Smelt that their environment might radically change as the volume of water flow sweeps them out to sea?

  3. Don’t release it yet! Take time to put Moonbeam and his Left Wing Nut Cartel in rowboats down stream (not too far) from the spillway so they can witness first hand the “ecological damage”.

  4. Where were the inspectors when the dam was empty and could easily be fixed. Another government FU that no one will take responsibility for or be held accountable! So typical.

  5. From the looks of it it appears as though cracks in the spillway allowed water to erode and undermine the integrity of the spillway. Maybe a little common sense observation and maintenance along with ample high strength epoxy applied in the right spots would have saved a lot of grief. However the term “Saved” is not used very often in California Politics.

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