spillway lake

Oroville Dam Spillway Failure Within Next Hour

The emergency spillway at Lake Oroville dam is about to fail. This means at least 30 feet of water are about to spill into low lying areas. There’s an immediate evacuation for all residents at risk. You know already if this is you, but I know some of you live near here and might not have the TV on. Please stay safe and get out. You have two hours max. This really isn’t something to fuck around with.

Also, in general, if you live near the Sacramento River this probably means the shit is going to hit the fan during next week’s storm. Please have a flood evac plan ready. The situation is not ideal.

Update on Oroville Dam

You can see from this photo why officials became agitated last night and ordered evacuations. The land that’s the emergency spillway was eroding badly, toward the lake. Heavy rains are forecast for the end of this week and this coming weekend, adding to the anxiety.

An aerial photo of the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville shows signs of major damage. The water level dropped Monday, reducing the risk of a catastrophic spillway collapse. (Randy Pench / Sacramento Bee)

From the LA Times:

More than 100,000 people were told to evacuate from areas near Oroville Dam in Northern California on Sunday because officials feared that an emergency spillway could fail, sending huge amounts of water into the Feather River, which runs through downtown Oroville, and other waterways. But by late Sunday night, officials said the immediate threat had passed.

  • The mass evacuations cap a week of frantic efforts to prevent flooding as the reservoir behind the United States’ tallest dam reached capacity and its main spillway was severely damaged.
  • Gov. Jerry Brown issued an emergency order late Sunday to bolster the state’s response.

Water levels at the reservoir have receded, and the damaged emergency spillway is no longer receiving water. But the damaged main spillway is still going strong, as the photos below show. The photos [below] also show the erosion along the emergency spillway.

The water level of Lake Oroville is dropping at a rate of roughly 3 to 4 inches per hour, according to officials. According to a spokesman for the Department of Water Resources, water is pouring down the facility’s damaged main spillway at a rate of about 100,000 cubic feet per second. By 10 a.m. (Pacific time), the lake’s water level was 4 feet lower than the emergency spillway, which suffered damage during its first ever water release over the weekend. Workers with the Department of Water Resources are scrambling to reduce the lake’s overall water level to 50 feet below the emergency spillway elevation of 901 feet. That mission has taken on added urgency as heavy rains are expected later in the week/