Thursday, March 23, 2017


by Bob Walsh

Yes it was indeed.

The emergency spillway at the Oroville dam came very close to structural failure over the weekend. Had it failed it would have covered Oroville in about 100 feet of water, which would have been bad. Fortunately they now have reduced the water level behind the dam to the point where they are no longer critically worried about it. The local authorities have kept a voluntary evacuation order in place but have lifted the mandatory evacuation order for many of the cities and downs downstream from the dam.

Within the next few days they are hoping to take the water level to the point where it is completely below the level of the structure of the emergency spillway, taking all of the pressure off of it. That is 50 feet below the maximum level of the lake. Then they can figure out what they are going to do about repairing the emergency spillway as well as the normal spillway. There are another three or four days of rain storms due starting Friday, but these storm will not carry nearly as much water as the last ones so the current spillway should be able to handle the intake OK. That will, of course, make the damage even worse for the standard spillway, but since it is toast anyway that doesn't seem to be a big deal.

The finger-pointing from the members of the political ruling class has started already. Remember the old axiom, it doesn't matter whose fault it is. It does matter who gets the blame. And of course who gets the government contracts to fix it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Damn Dam!