california department of water resources

Scores need rescuing from rising flood waters in Silicon Valley

Rescue workers have been forced to evacuate scores of people from a San Jose neighborhood in California after flood waters from an overflowing creek inundated a residential area.

Around 200 were taken from their homes while more had to be rescued from their cars as water levels began to rise along the Coyote Creek in a neighborhood of Rock Springs in Silicon Valley.

Last weekend, California lived through its biggest storm in years which unleashed a wave of rain and snow that killed at least three people and triggered flooding, mudslides, high winds and power cuts.

Parts of Southern California have been the slowest to exit the drought. But the state’s reservoirs are 22 percent more full than the average, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

California infrastructure stressed by storms as chunk of state's $7 billion water bond money goes unspent

The latest storms hitting California have caused flooding, levee breaks, sinkholes and concerns about the state’s dam safety.

Rain continued in some areas Tuesday even as a new storm was forecast to bring more rain next weekend.

The storms were the result of what’s known as atmospheric rivers, which produced floods up and down the state and heavy winds that led to several weather-related deaths. There also have been broken levees and caused other stresses to the state’s aging flood-control systems.

“You’ve got some levee breaks here and there but you always have those when you get heavy flooding,” said Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. “The infrastructure itself is not compromised in a significant way, except for the Oroville [Dam spillway] problem.”

Even so, money that could have been used to modernize the state’s water infrastructure and build more water storage has been held up due to red tape at the state level that requires a lengthy regulatory and bidding process.

In 2014, California voters approved a water bond that authorized about $7.45 billion in spending, but as of Tuesday $7.39 billion had not been issued, the state Treasurer’s office told CNBC on Tuesday.

The state is still finalizing regulations for the water storage portion of the Proposition One state water funds and there’s no firm date for when the first projects will be completed since several additional hurdles remain.

“It is a long process to go through,” concedes Joe Yun, interim manager of the California Water Commission’s water storage investment program. “The regulations had to include a lot of different things.”

The state water commission has control specifically over about $2.7 billion worth of Proposition One funds, or what’s known as Chapter 8 money for water storage projects that improve the operation of the state water system. Regulations were adopted in December 2016 for the Chapter 8 money and currently those rules are going through a review process before the state solicits applications for water projects.

Some lawmakers have been critical of the delays in putting the water bond money to work.

“Incredibly, the 2014 Water Bond was passed three years ago but there still isn’t a single project listed on the state website to use the funds,” said State Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach, California). “It has been over two months since Proposition One money could be spent and still not one project is shovel ready.”

Allen added: “With Jerry Brown’s constant calls for ‘shower cops’ and telling Californians to kill their lawns one would think that the state would have broken ground January 1st. Instead of our state fixing our water system and capturing more of this valuable rainfall from the recent historic storms, Californians are now watching our dams crumble and trillions of gallons of water go down the drain thanks to Jerry Brown’s inexcusable record of inaction.”

CNBC reached out to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office for comment. The governor’s office forwarded a request for comment to the California Natural Resources Agency.

Agency spokesperson Nancy Vogel said late Tuesday it’s inaccurate to suggest the Proposition One water bond money authorized by voters isn’t being spent. She said in an emailed response there are funds being spent on projects around the state to make California’s “water systems more resilient and reliable and help restore important ecosystems.”

Still, she confirms the Chapter 8 money hasn’t been awarded for projects. “Through a competitive process, the [California Water] Commission intends to award early funding for permitting and environmental documentation in 2018.”

Repairs at Oroville Dam could exceed $200 million and it’s still unclear if the federal government will help with the bill. The state has been repairing the damaged emergency spillway at the Northern California reservoir and also will be needing to fix the erosion on its primary spillway.

The Oroville reservoir fell to 50 feet below its elevation capacity early Monday after water outflows since last week helped lower the lake’s levels. The reservoir, the state’s second largest, is expected to rise due to the rains but officials say it remains at safe levels from a flood-control standpoint.

Precipitation levels in the state’s Northern and the San Joaquin Valley regions are now more than 200 percent of normal for the water year to date.

San Francisco topped its average rainfall for a full season as of Tuesday morning, coming after the latest series of powerful winter storms. And lingering showers were forecast for the Bay area into the evening by the National Weather Service.

Also, many of the state’s reservoirs are far and above their historical averages for this time of year.

Shasta Lake, the largest single reservoir in California, is at 127 percent of its average capacity, and three reservoirs in the state were at more than 100 percent of capacity as of noon Tuesday — Antelope, Englebright and Pardee.

The Don Pedro Reservoir in Stanislaus County reached 830 feet elevation Monday, activating its spillway for the first time in 20 years. The reservoir remained at 828 feet Tuesday morning, with outflows continuing to go into the Tuolumne River and raising concerns of flooding in Modesto.

“They are trying to operate in a non-damaging stage to the town of Modesto,” Mitch Russo, intelligence chief with the California Department of Water Resources’ flood-operations center said Tuesday.

Lake Comanche, which is about 70 miles northwest of Don Pedro Reservoir, also was quickly filling up and could spill Wednesday, according to Russo.

Russo said no flooding was expected due to Comanche since the water outflows are not likely to exceed the current levels from the facility’s hydropower facility. “They will back up off the powerhouse to zero and then let the spill occur,” he said.

To the east, there were low-lying areas along the Coyote Creek in San Jose that were flooded and the city’s fire and police were helping trapped residents with evacuations into Tuesday. And further south areas along the Carmel River in Monterey County also experienced overflowing and caused evacuations.

In Central California, a levee breach in the town of Manteca in San Joaquin County led to the evacuation of several hundred people Monday night. It was still in effect Tuesday morning as crews worked to repair a levee on the San Joaquin River as rain continued to fall.

Meantime, in Southern California had some areas Friday that received as much as 6 inches of rainfall in 24 hours and there was precipitation reported into the weekend and some areas on Tuesday.

Major L.A.-area freeways and streets experienced flooding from the storms and crews over the weekend were still struggling to remove trees downed from the heavy winds. Already soaked grounds led to additional problems throughout Southern California, including mudslides in hillside communities.

Fire crews also rescued motorists along flooded streets in several Los Angeles County areas, including Sun Valley.

One death in the L.A. area was blamed on electric wires falling during heavy wind during the rainstorm and another fatality occurred about 80 miles northeast in the Victorville area when a motorist became trapped during a flash flood.

Finally, a 30-foot sinkhole appeared in L.A. community of Studio City that swallowed two cars Friday night. Officials blamed it on a sewer line problem.

Story updated to include response from California Natural Resources Agency, which commented on behalf of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office.

California infrastructure stressed by storms as chunk of state's $7 billion water bond money goes unspent

The latest storms hitting California have caused flooding, levee breaks, sinkholes and concerns about the state’s dam safety.

Rain continued in some areas Tuesday even as a new storm was forecast to bring more rain next weekend.

The storms were the result of what’s known as atmospheric rivers, which produced floods up and down the state and heavy winds that led to several weather-related deaths. There also have been broken levees and other stresses to the state’s aging flood-control systems.

“You’ve got some levee breaks here and there but you always have those when you get heavy flooding,” said Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. “The infrastructure itself is not compromised in a significant way, except for the Oroville [Dam spillway] problem.”

Even so, money that could have been used to modernize the state’s water infrastructure and build more water storage has been held up due to red tape at the state level that requires a lengthy regulatory and bidding process.

In 2014, California voters approved a water bond (known as Proposition One) that authorized about $7.45 billion in spending, but as of this week $7.39 billion had not been issued, the state Treasurer’s office told CNBC on Tuesday. (The state clarified late Tuesday it is relying on commercial paper notes to get cash for Proposition One projects until a decision is made to sell bonds to pay off the notes.)

The state is still finalizing regulations for the water storage portion of the Proposition One state water funds and there’s no firm date for when the first projects will be completed since several additional hurdles remain.

“It is a long process to go through,” concedes Joe Yun, interim manager of the California Water Commission’s water storage investment program. “The regulations had to include a lot of different things.”

The state water commission has control specifically over about $2.7 billion worth of Proposition One funds, or what’s known as Chapter 8 money for water storage projects that improve the operation of the state water system. Regulations were adopted in December 2016 for the Chapter 8 money and currently those rules are going through a review process before the state solicits applications for water projects.

Some lawmakers have been critical of the delays in putting the water bond money to work.

“Incredibly, the 2014 Water Bond was passed three years ago but there still isn’t a single project listed on the state website to use the funds,” said State Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach, California). “It has been over two months since Proposition One money could be spent and still not one project is shovel ready.”

Allen added: “With Jerry Brown’s constant calls for ‘shower cops’ and telling Californians to kill their lawns one would think that the state would have broken ground January 1st. Instead of our state fixing our water system and capturing more of this valuable rainfall from the recent historic storms, Californians are now watching our dams crumble and trillions of gallons of water go down the drain thanks to Jerry Brown’s inexcusable record of inaction.”

CNBC reached out to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office for comment. The governor’s office forwarded a request for comment to the California Natural Resources Agency.

Agency spokesperson Nancy Vogel said it’s inaccurate to suggest the Proposition One water bond money authorized by voters isn’t being spent. She said in an emailed response there are funds being spent on projects around the state to make California’s “water systems more resilient and reliable and help restore important ecosystems.”

Still, she confirms the Chapter 8 money hasn’t been awarded for projects. “Through a competitive process, the [California Water] Commission intends to award early funding for permitting and environmental documentation in 2018.”

Meantime, repairs at Oroville Dam could exceed $200 million and it’s still unclear if the federal government will help with the bill. The state has been repairing the damaged emergency spillway at the Northern California reservoir and also has to address the erosion problem on the dam’s primary spillway.

The Oroville reservoir fell to 50 feet below its elevation capacity early Monday after water outflows since last week helped lower the lake’s levels. The reservoir, the state’s second largest, is expected to rise due to the rains but officials say it remains at safe levels from a flood-control standpoint.

Precipitation levels in the state’s Northern and the San Joaquin Valley regions are now more than 200 percent of normal for the water year to date.

San Francisco topped its average rainfall for a full season as of Tuesday morning, coming after the latest series of powerful winter storms. And lingering showers were forecast for the Bay area into the evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Also, many of the state’s reservoirs are far and above their historical averages for this time of year.

Shasta Lake, the largest single reservoir in California, is at 127 percent of its average capacity, and three reservoirs in the state were at more than 100 percent of capacity as of noon Tuesday — Antelope, Englebright and Pardee.

The Don Pedro Reservoir in Stanislaus County reached 830 feet elevation Monday, activating its spillway for the first time in 20 years. The reservoir remained at 828 feet Tuesday morning, with outflows continuing to go into the Tuolumne River and raising concerns of flooding in Modesto.

“They are trying to operate in a non-damaging stage to the town of Modesto,” Mitch Russo, intelligence chief with the California Department of Water Resources’ flood-operations center said Tuesday.

Lake Comanche, which is about 70 miles northwest of Don Pedro Reservoir, also was quickly filling up and could spill Wednesday, according to Russo.

Russo said no flooding was expected due to Comanche since the water outflows are not likely to exceed the current levels from the facility’s hydropower facility. “They will back up off the powerhouse to zero and then let the spill occur,” he said.

To the east, there were low-lying areas along the Coyote Creek in San Jose that were flooded and the city’s fire and police were helping trapped residents with evacuations Tuesday. And further south, areas along the Carmel River in Monterey County experienced overflowing that led to evacuations.

In Central California, a levee breach in the town of Manteca in San Joaquin County forced the evacuation of several hundred people Monday night. It was still in effect Tuesday morning as crews worked to repair a levee on the San Joaquin River as rain continued to fall.

As for Southern California, Friday’s intense storm dropped as much as 6 inches of rain in 24 hours in some areas and precipitation continued well into the holiday weekend. Tuesday also produced light rain in some areas of the region.

Major L.A.-area freeways and streets experienced flooding from Friday storm and crews over the weekend were still struggling to remove trees downed from the heavy winds. Fire crews also rescued motorists along flooded streets in several L.A. areas, including Sun Valley.

One death in the L.A. area was blamed on electric wires falling during heavy winds from the storm and another fatality occurred about 80 miles northeast in the Victorville area when a motorist became trapped during a flash flood.

A 30-foot sinkhole appeared in L.A. community of Studio City that swallowed two cars Friday night. Officials blamed it on a sewer line problem.

Finally, a mudslide in Santa Barbara caused Amtrak rail service to be suspended Saturday morning between San Luis Obispo and L.A.

Story updated to include response from California Natural Resources Agency, which commented on behalf of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office.

reuters.com
Hole in tallest U.S. dam grows, officials say no threat of failure

65,000 cfs of water flow through a damaged spillway on the Oroville Dam in Oroville, California, U.S., February 10, 2017.
California Department of Water Resources personnel monitor water flowing through a damaged spillway on the Oroville Dam in Oroville, California, U.S., on February 10, 2017.
State authorities and engineers on Thursday carefully released water from the Lake Oroville Dam in Northern California as water levels in the reservoir rose due to heavy rain and snow.
There was no imminent or expected threat to public safety or the dam, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said, and the California Department of Water Resources said the structure was sound.
At 770 feet (230 meters) high, the structure, built between 1962 and 1968, is the tallest dam in the United States, besting the famed Hoover Dam by more than 40 feet (12 meters).


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Posted at Tue Feb 21 06:10:13 2017

Oroville Dam update: Dam outflows increased ahead of storms

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – The California Department of Water Resources said Sunday that, as repairs have continued on the Oroville Dam’s damaged emergency spillway, outflow from the dam was increased.

Southern California rain eases; north facing renewed storm

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Southern California rain eases; north facing renewed storm

But while flash-flood watches for Southern California were canceled, Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area were facing a weekend return of heavy rain and winds that lashed them earlier in the week before the storm moves out. Authorities said the San Joaquin River is reaching flood stage, and they are warning residents in Manteca to be ready to evacuate in case it reaches dangerous levels. “Stronger southerly winds and widespread flooding will be likely as an atmospheric river (of moisture) takes aim somewhere along the central California Coast,” a weather statement warned.The approaching rain could cause more problems in the far north, where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced the evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.The California Department of Water Resources, however, said Saturday night that the level of Lake Oroville continues to fall despite the stormy weather, and the amount of water flowing down the spillway continues to be cut.

The amount of water flowing down the spillway has been reduced to 55,000 cubic feet per second, the department said. Earlier this week, outflows were at nearly 100,000 cubic feet per second.Meanwhile, authorities up and down the state were dealing with the fallout, including overflowing creeks, mudslide threats in foothill areas denuded by previous fires, road collapses and hundreds of toppled trees in neighborhoods.Northwest of Sacramento, nearly 200 people were evacuated Saturday as overflowing creeks turned the town of Maxwell into a brown pond, with some homes getting 2 feet of water.

Southern California rain eases; north facing renewed storm

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Southern California rain eases; north facing renewed storm

But while flash-flood watches for Southern California were canceled, Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area were facing a weekend return of heavy rain and winds that lashed them earlier in the week before the storm moves out. Authorities said the San Joaquin River is reaching flood stage, and they are warning residents in Manteca to be ready to evacuate in case it reaches dangerous levels. “Stronger southerly winds and widespread flooding will be likely as an atmospheric river (of moisture) takes aim somewhere along the central California Coast,” a weather statement warned.The approaching rain could cause more problems in the far north, where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced the evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.The California Department of Water Resources, however, said Saturday night that the level of Lake Oroville continues to fall despite the stormy weather, and the amount of water flowing down the spillway continues to be cut.

The amount of water flowing down the spillway has been reduced to 55,000 cubic feet per second, the department said. Earlier this week, outflows were at nearly 100,000 cubic feet per second.Meanwhile, authorities up and down the state were dealing with the fallout, including overflowing creeks, mudslide threats in foothill areas denuded by previous fires, road collapses and hundreds of toppled trees in neighborhoods.Northwest of Sacramento, nearly 200 people were evacuated Saturday as overflowing creeks turned the town of Maxwell into a brown pond, with some homes getting 2 feet of water.

Water Levels at Lake Oroville Keep Falling Despite Rain

Water Levels at Lake Oroville Keep Falling Despite Rain

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California Department of Water Resources says the level of Lake Oroville continues to fall despite the stormy weather, and the amount of water flowing down the spillway continues to be cut. Damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced the evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend In a statement, the department says that “as runoff flows into the reservoir, water…

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Oroville Dam update: Reservoir level further reduced, work ongoing despite storms

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – Despite storms that moved across the region on Friday, California Department of Water Resources construction crews continued to repair erosion below the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway.

As Storm Approaches, Officials Wage ‘Aggressive, Proactive Attack’ to Prevent Disaster at Oroville Dam

As Storm Approaches, Officials Wage ‘Aggressive, Proactive Attack’ to Prevent Disaster at Oroville Dam

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With both spillways badly damaged and a new storm approaching, America’s tallest dam on Tuesday became the site of a desperate operation to fortify the massive structures before they face another major test. An eroded section of the Oroville Dam spillway is seen in this image provided by the California Department of WaterResources. A swarm of trucks and helicopters dumped 1,200 tons of material…

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California officials rush to drain lake as new storms begin

OROVILLE, Calif. — Officials raced to drain more water from a lake behind battered Oroville Dam as new storms began rolling into Northern California on Wednesday and tested the quick repairs made to damaged spillways that raised flood fears.

The three storms were expected to stretch into next week. Forecasters said the first two storms could drop a total of 5 inches of rain in higher elevation.

However, the third storm, starting as early as Monday, could be more powerful.

“There a potential for several inches,” National Weather Service forecaster Tom Dang said. “It will be very wet.”

Nonetheless, California Department of Water Resources chief Bill Croyle said water was draining at about four times the rate that it was flowing in and the repairs should hold at the nation’s tallest dam.

About 100,000 cubic feet of water was flowing from the reservoir each second, enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Croyle said work crews had made “great progress” cementing thousands of tons of rocks into holes in the spillways.

“We shouldn’t see a bump in the reservoir” from the upcoming storms, he said.

The reservoir has dropped 20 feet since it reached capacity Sunday. Croyle said officials hope it falls 50 feet by this Sunday.

Still, officials warned residents who have returned to their homes that the area downstream of the dam remained under an evacuation warning and they should be prepared to leave if the risk increases.

Some 200,000 people were allowed to return home Tuesday after being ordered to evacuate Sunday.

Sandra Waters, 42, of Oroville initially fled her home with little more than the clothes she was wearing. Now, she’s preparing for the possibility of another evacuation by gathering food, clothing and sentimental items like photographs.

“You are always cautious when you live under a big dam, but we’ve always been pretty confident that it was safe and that it wasn’t going to fail,” she said.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said some homes in the evacuation zone had been burglarized and deputies had made arrests.

He also called on private drone operators to refrain from flying their devices over the dam. Private drones can interfere with the repair work, which includes helicopters, he said.

The 770-foot-tall dam is located in Oroville, a small Gold Rush-era town along the Feather River in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The region is largely rural, with its politics dominated by rice growers, orchard operators and other agricultural interests. It’s dogged by the high unemployment rates endemic to farming communities.

Dump trucks and helicopters dropped thousands of tons of rocks and sandbags to shore up the spillways over the weekend and avoid what could be a catastrophic failure and flood.

The swollen lake reached its capacity over the weekend and spilled down an unpaved emergency spillway for nearly 40 hours, leaving it badly eroded. The problem occurred six days after engineers discovered a growing hole in the dam’s main concrete spillway.

Croyle said teams were working on plans for permanent repairs to the dam’s main spillway that could cost as much as $200 million.

As state officials puzzle through how to repair it, federal regulators have ordered California to figure out what went wrong.

In recent years, construction crews patched cracks — including in the area where water burrowed a huge pit last week. If the past repairs were not done properly, water could infiltrate and eventually tear through the concrete.

Inspectors with the state agency that operates and checks the dam went into the half-mile-long spillway in 2014 and 2015 and did not find any concerns, officials said.

Late Tuesday, President Donald Trump ordered federal authorities to help California recover from severe January storms — a disaster declaration that also assists state and local officials with the dam crisis.

Elsewhere in the state, officials say a reservoir in Santa Clara County is on the verge of spilling over for the first time since 2006. But unlike Oroville Dam, the Anderson Reservoir is not at risk of failure or causing major flooding, San Jose television station KNTV reported.

___

Elias reported from San Francisco.

.

Jonathan J. Cooper And Paul Elias, The Associated Press

As Storm Approaches, Officials Wage ‘Aggressive, Proactive Attack’ to Prevent Disaster at Oroville Dam

As Storm Approaches, Officials Wage ‘Aggressive, Proactive Attack’ to Prevent Disaster at Oroville Dam

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With both spillways badly damaged and a new storm approaching, America’s tallest dam on Tuesday became the site of a desperate operation to fortify the massive structures before they face another major test. An eroded section of the Oroville Dam spillway is seen in this image provided by the California Department of WaterResources. A swarm of trucks and helicopters dumped 1,200 tons of material…

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Officials Race Against Weather to Avoid Disaster at Oroville Dam

Officials Race Against Weather to Avoid Disaster at Oroville Dam

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Watch Video There’s no word yet when the 188,000 people who evacuated their homes near Northern California’s Oroville Dam can return. The heavy flows from the 3,000-foot main Oroville dam spillway continues to push debris into the turbid Feather River as the concrete span further eroded and the jagged fracture in its midsection sends water flowing over an adjacent hillside. (Credit: Florence Low…

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Engineers work to repair Oroville Dam spillway ahead of more storms

The 180,000 people who were ordered to evacuate their homes downstream of the damaged Oroville Dam face an indefinite stay in shelters as engineers work to repair the structure before more storms sweep the region. After what looks set to be the wettest winter in northern California following years of drought, more rain is forecast this week.

The threat emerged after weeks of storms dumped rain and snow across California, particularly in northern parts of the state. The Department of Water Resources began releasing water down the main spillway last week to make more room in the reservoir behind the 770ft-high Oroville Dam, the largest in the US.

But when a chunk of concrete tore out of the spillway, creating a 200ft-long, 30ft-deep hole, water managers began using the emergency spillway for the first time in its 48-year history. The flow of water was so fierce it ripped through a road and carved out deep chasms in the ground.

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Helicopters have been dropping giant rock-filled sandbags into the gap at the top of the emergency spillway to rebuild the eroded hillside. Authorities say they have averted the immediate danger of a catastrophic failure that could unleash a wall of water three storeys high on towns below.

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The acting head of the state’s Department of Water Resources said he was unaware of a 2005 report that recommended reinforcing the earthen emergency spillway with concrete to prevent damage. The spillway had never been used in the dam’s nearly 50 years of operation, and it was not near capacity when it began to fail.

Environmental groups raised concerns years ago about the stability of the emergency spillway, but state and federal officials dismissed them and insisted the structure was safe, according to records. In 2005, three advocacy groups complained to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that using Lake Oroville’s earthen spillway would cause significant erosion because it was not armoured with concrete.

They said soil, rocks and debris could be swept into the Feather River, potentially damaging highways, bridges and power plants. The groups warned of a complete failure of the dam itself, threatening lives and property. Nearly three years later, state officials said no “significant concerns” about the emergency spillway’s integrity had been raised in any government or independent review.

Governor Jerry Brown has requested federal assistance from the Trump administration, setting aside previous criticism of the president. The state has vowed to resist many of his administration’s efforts. But the governor said at a news conference that he’s “sure that California and Washington will work in a constructive way. That’s my attitude. There will be different points of view, but we’re all one America.”

Evacuee Kelly Remocal told AP she believed the public officials working on the problem were “downplaying everything so people don’t freak out”.

“I honestly don’t think they’re going to be able to do it, fix the problem,” she said. “This requires a little more than a Band-Aid. At this point they have no choice but to give it a Band-Aid fix.”

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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Justin Time
Today in 5 Lines During a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Trump praised the “outstanding” trade agreement between the two countries. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump is “evaluating the situation” following reports that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with a Russian official before Trump’s inauguration, something Flynn had previously denied. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 680 people in raids last week in what the agency described as “routine” operations. The Senate is expected to confirm Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary later today. The California Department of Water Resources is attempting to fix the Oroville Dam in California, after a hole in an emergency spillway prompted mass evacuations over the weekend. Read more
Sacramento Data center status

QTS is where we host our servers in Sacramento. This is an update in relation to a possible Oroville Dam spillway failure:

QTS is closely monitoring the situation that is happening at the Oroville Dam in Oroville, CA.

 The dam is located approximately 60 miles north of the QTS Sacramento Data Center. Water from this dam flows south through the Feather River and into the Sacramento River which is approximately 5 miles west of the QTS Sacramento Data Center. The risk to the QTS Sacramento Data Center is very minimal at this point. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg says there is currently “no imminent threat” to the city.

 At the present time, with the increased spill rate from the Oroville Dam, the Sacramento River sits at 28 feet, which is significantly below the flood level for the river per the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The DWR has forecasted the level will decrease and be below monitoring level by this afternoon, Monday, 2/13/2017 at 1600 PST.

California dam water level drops after massive evacuation

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California dam water level drops after massive evacuation

Water levels dropped Monday at California’s Lake Oroville, stopping water from spilling over a massive dam’s potentially hazardous emergency spillway after authorities ordered the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people from towns lying below the lake. California Department of Water Resources officials were preparing to inspect an erosion scar on the spillway at the Oroville Dam, the nation’s largest. Authorities ordered the evacuations Sunday for people living below the lake after authorities warned that failure of the emergency spillway could send a 30-foot wall of water into the communities.

We need to continue to lower the lake levels and we need to give the Department of Water Resources time to fully evaluate the situation so we can make the decision to whether or not it is safe to repopulate the area.

Butte County Sheriff Kory

Department engineer and spokesman Kevin Dossey told the Sacramento Bee the emergency spillway was rated to handle 250,000 cubic feet per second, but it began to show weakness Sunday after flows peaked at 12,600 cubic feet per second. The California National Guard notified all its 23,000 soldiers and airmen to be ready to deploy, the first time an alert for the entire California National Guard had been issued since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four police officers in the beating of Rodney King.

Oroville dam: Incredible photos show water cascading down hill amid fears largest dam in the US could collapse

The water level has dropped behind the US’s tallest dam, reducing the risk of a catastrophic spillway collapse and easing fears that prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downstream.

Officials from the California Department of Water Resources are set to inspect an erosion scar on the spillway at the dam on Lake Oroville, about 150 miles north-east of San Francisco.

Authorities ordered evacuations on Sunday for everyone living below the lake out of concern that the spillway could fail and send a 30ft wall of water roaring downstream.Officials feared safety features of the dam would fail after an emergency earth slipway attached to the dam suffered significant erosion damage.

Stormy weather left Lake Oroville less than two metres from the top of the dam, causing water to cascade down the damaged slipway.

A change in conditions gave engineers working to repair the erosion a brief respite as water receded, but up to 10 inches of rain is expected for the California Mountains later in the week.

Water is being released in an attempt to ease the pressure of the 4.3 km square lake - which is at 100 per cent capacity - on the structure.

The dam is the largest in the US and the structure is close to the town of Oroville, population 16,000.

The surrounding area has been evacuated of nearly 200,000 people in preparation collapse.

The situation remains precarious and it is is unknown when they will be able to return home.

It emerged this week that federal and state officials ignored warnings from local groups about the impact severe weather could have on the dam’s capabilities.

Built in 1968, the structure is 230 metres high, nearly nine metres taller than the Hoover Dam, the next largest in the country.

The dam surrounds Lake Oroville, the second largest artifical lake in American, and controls the flow of the Feather River. It has also been used for hydroelectric power.

In drought prone California, dams are viewed by engineers as essential for water storage.