Kangaroos and Zebras Among Exotic Animals Left Behind During California Dam Evacuations

State water officials said they had drained enough of the lake behind the dam, the nation's tallest, so that its earthen emergency spillway will not be needed to handle runoff from an approaching storm. On Sunday, officials discovered a hole in the spillway, which guards against the dam's overflow when water levels are high, and issued an evacuation order to surrounding cities and counties.

This situation is unlikely to occur at any of the Horsetooth Reservoir dams, according to officials from the Bureau of Reclamation and Northern Water.

"It has been stable for four days", Croyle said.

Eric Holland, of the state Department of Water Resources' dam-safety division, said any of a number of different problems could have caused the spillway troubles.

Experts now estimate that it will cost at least $200 million to fix the hole in the dam's spillways if no further damage is incurred.

Bill Speer arrived back at his Oroville home Tuesday afternoon.

The authorities said they had averted the immediate danger of a catastrophic failure at the dam that could unleash a wall of water three storeys tall on towns below.

A damaged spillway with eroded hillside is seen in an aerial

Alan Haynes, with the federal government's California Nevada River Forecast, agreed that inflows to the lake should be manageable compared to the volumes that rushed in during last week's storm. Jerry Brown said Monday that he sent a letter to the White House requesting direct federal assistance in the emergency, though some federal agencies have been helping already. We rely on donations to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States.

"We're doing everything we can to get this dam in shape so that they can return and they can live safely without fear".

Yolanda Davila, 62, of Thermalito, ended up at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, one of only five in the area taking people with pets. As she packed the blankets, pillows and clothing she had hastily thrown into a black garbage bag, she reflected on the mad rush to leave, the chaos, confusion and bottleneck traffic on the drive out.

How can you help those affected by the Oroville Dam evacuations?

"We didn't have a plan".

The damage to Oroville Dam raises questions about the ability of aging infrastructure to cope with severe weather exacerbated by global warming.

"Normality seems to be taking hold", Sandy Linville, president and CEO the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday morning. "The events unfolding at Oroville should be a wake-up call that there are thousands of unsafe dams and levees in the country".

  • Zachary Reyes