Crews Work 24/7 to Patch Up Eroded Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway

Along with more than 30 relatives, he planned to return home after the storms expected to hit this week.

"An evacuation warning means the immediate threat has ended but the potential for an emergency remains and therefore residents must remain prepared for the possibility of an evacuation order", Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea said.

Thousands of homes sit abandoned in the Feather River Valley below California's Lake Oroville Dam, as officials race to fix the dam's damaged spillways.

Erosion on the hillside adjacent to the spillway led to fears that the structure would fail Sunday afternoon, and officials ordered the evacuations.

The swollen lake reached its capacity over the weekend and spilled down an unpaved emergency spillway for almost 40 hours, leaving it badly eroded.

In the filing, the water agencies told federal regulators that environmentalists and local officials did not show that the emergency spillway posed a public risk.

He said if the state listened to the 2005 warnings and installed the concrete a decade ago, "This problem would not have occurred".

With the damaged main spillway of the Oroville Dam blasting out water at a rate faster than the flow of Niagara Falls, officials on Wednesday said there's no need for concern about a series of storms coming in over the next week.

Forecasts call for 2 inches to 4 inches of rain and snow in the foothills and mountains starting tonight.

California authorities have been using helicopters and dump trucks to fill the hole in the dam and redirect the water.

However, as the New York Times reported, because emergency spillways aren't often used, they are not built with the same specifications as main spillways.

"We shouldn't see a bump in the reservoir" from the upcoming storms, he said.

The stated goal is to get the reservoir to the 850-foot level.

Engineers have now stopped flow to the emergency spillway and are flowing 100,00 cubic feet per second out of the main spillway to decrease stress on the structure, according to Fox News.

Yesterday, Governor Brown met with emergency response officials and sent a letter to the President and FEMA requesting a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to support the communities impacted by the situation at the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway.

" 'This is an aggressive, proactive attack to address the erosion, ' said Bill Croyle, acting director of the state Department of Water Resources". If the past repairs were not done properly, water could infiltrate and eventually tear through the concrete.

  • Leroy Wright