Oroville Dam Spillway: What you need to know this Monday

Authorities ordered thousands of residents to abandon their homes south of the nation's tallest dam in northern California due to a predicted spillway collapse. "There is the prospect that we have to issue another evacuation order if situations change".

At least 250 California law enforcement officers were posted near the dam and along evacuation routes to manage the exodus and ensure evacuated towns do not become targets for looting or other criminal activity. Police manned roadblocks. Evacuees waited in traffic trying to escape low-lying areas. Downtown Oroville was empty.

Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea said at an earlier news briefing that experts assert the hole forming in the spillway could compromise the structure.

"We did this because our primary goal is to ensure public safety", he said in a Monday news conference. But they cautioned that the situation remained unpredictable.

"Things can fail whether it's levees or dams or bridges", he said. In addition to flood control, it also serves to provide drinking water and generate hydroelectric power. Water levels were less than 7 feet (2 metres) from the top of the dam on Friday.

Earlier in the week engineers began releasing water from the dam after noticing large chunks of concrete were missing from a spillway. It can't be fixed immediately.

Emergency evacuation of Yuba City and areas in Sutton County was ordered on Sunday following a warning that the damaged Oroville Dam could burst.

Within that motion, the groups warned that the dam did not meet modern safety standards, the Mercury News reported.

For the first time ever, water began running over the emergency spillway around 8 am, on Saturday, February 11.

As of noon Tuesday, the lake had dropped 15 feet to 887.94 feet elevation since it peaked Sunday above capacity at 902.1 feet.

Helicopters cary huge bags full of rock to stabilize the emergency spillway next to the Oroville Dam on Monday Feb. 13, 2017, in Oroville, Ca.

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With blankets, pillows and a little food, Santiago said: "We're going to sleep in the vehicle". State officials said in 2008 no "significant concerns" about the spillway's integrity had been raised in any government or independent review. The evacuation is being carried out because a crucial spillway is in danger of collapsing.

What is the Oroville Dam?

Brown also sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting an emergency declaration that would open up federal assistance for the affected communities. "She called 911, and 911 said they weren't sending anybody else out". So was downtown Oroville. For now, all they can do is wait.

The forcast centre has extended the flash flood warning for the "for the potential failure of a portion of the auxillary spillway" until 4.15 PM PST on Tuesday.

"It was pretty scary, just because of how fast everything was developing", he said.

"So what that means is that we'll see a small increase in water surface elevation later this week", Croyle said. "We're not taking any chances". They warned heavy rains could force officials to use the emergency spillway and erosion could result in potentially deadly flooding. The urgency later subsided, with authorities reporting that the situation was not as desperate as previously thought.

"I recognize and absolutely appreciate the frustration people who were evacuated must feel", Honea said during a press conference.

"We're not at the point yet where we can make decisions about whether or not it is safe to repopulate areas".

Outflows remain high at almost 100,000 cubic feet per second.

How long will it take to fix the dam?

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