Oroville Dam danger

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by arwen undomiel, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. arwen undomiel

    arwen undomiel Active Member Contributor

  2. VF21

    VF21 #KingsFansForever Staff Member Contributor

    UPDATE:

    The water has quit spilling over the emergency spillway, which alleviates a lot of the concern. All evacuation orders remain in effect, however, and most likely will until sometime tomorrow.

    The dam itself was in no danger. It was erosion on a small part of the emergency spillway, which extends some 1700 ft, that caused the issuance of the emergency evacuations. They are going to address the erosion issue and continue to release as much water as possible - at this time around 112,000 cfs - from the main spillway.

    If nothing else, this is a real wakeup call for everyone involved. I think the entire area of South Butte, South Yuba and other counties has learned a valuable lesson.

    There is still some danger, but nothing like what was possible earlier this evening.

    (In case anyone is wondering, I work with a nonprofit organization that provides evacuation center assistance in times of emergencies, which is why I have been monitoring the situation so closely.)
    Spike, Tetsujin, Warhawk and 2 others like this.
  3. VF21

    VF21 #KingsFansForever Staff Member Contributor

    I hate the local news. The sensationalism they've used to cover this event is despicable. They've terrified people, they've misrepresented the situation, they've twisted words for maximum impact. They have NOT done their jobs properly IMHO. Especially egregious has been CBS13 (on their CW31 coverage) who actually at one point had a headline about the Oroville Auxiliary Dam failure. (?!?!?!?!?)

    Was this a bad situation? Possibly. Did Butte County do the right thing in ordering evacuations? I think so, for the simple reason it's better to be safe than sorry. The main point, however, is that the integrity of the dam itself was never in question. The emergency spillway was utilized and did its job, albeit with some erosion damage that was not anticipated - and did, in fact, create the situation that authorities felt warranted the evacuation orders. The damaged spillway is still functioning and is doing its job. The Feather River system can and has handled in excess of 135,000 cfs without problem. They are going to be releasing as much water as possible with the goal of lowering the lake level by 50 feet.

    With rain anticipated to amount to 2 to 4 inches from the next series of storms, the inflow into Oroville will be significantly less than what was experienced during the lst series of storms that dropped between 10 and 15 inches of precipitation. Thus, barring some truly unforeseen catastrophic event, it appears the worst is over.

    Of all the Sacramento stations covering the event, I do have to give credit to Mark Finan and the team at Ch. 3 who at least tried to get the facts out there without resorting to sensationalism.

    That's my take. I'm exhausted and heading to bed. I was waiting for friends to arrive from Olivehurst. They just got here so we can all sleep soundly.
    Warhawk likes this.
  4. PurpleHaze

    PurpleHaze Well-Known Member

  5. LPKingsFan

    LPKingsFan Well-Known Member

    The Bee has taken down their paywall/article limit while this is going on. Say what you will about the sports page, but their coverage on water/environmental issues is generally very good, I would rely on them much more than the TV news (who tend to be, as VF suggests, overly sensational).

    Hope all affected are safe. Hope we can weather this next storm.
    VF21 likes this.
  6. VF21

    VF21 #KingsFansForever Staff Member Contributor

    Good news: The evacuation orders have been lifted. People can go home. I will state again that Ch. 3 has done an incredible job of covering this whole situation.
  7. macadocious

    macadocious Well-Known Member

    I thought Dale Kasler did a good job covering it. My office is in YC and I went there yesterday and it was a ghost town, was really bizarre.

    BTW, I don't trust the people working on the dam, we went from nothings wrong to evacuate in less than 24 hours. I would not be going back if I lived in that area. This storm that's coming in could cause some more damage.
  8. VF21

    VF21 #KingsFansForever Staff Member Contributor

    Actually, the storm that's coming in is not going to cause more damage. The emergency spillway will not come into play again ... and it was erosion of spots beneath THAT part of the structure adjacent to the dam that was causing the concern. The dam level is continuing to drop and the emergency spillway erosion has not only been stopped, it is rapidly being repaired and the areas made stronger.

    I DO trust the people working on the dam. I know several of them personally and they are hard-working, dedicated people. I think it is really unfair to berate them without knowing all the facts.

    You can check on the Ch. 3 website or the Sacramento Bee (which has very good coverage on this issue) and get a full overview of what happened to cause the evacuation orders to be issued in the first place. It was more an abundance of caution and concern. I do not fault the sheriff of Butte County for this action.

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