We told you the story earlier this week about close to 200 thousand residents in Northern California being evacuated because of the threat of the Oroville dam rupturing. The evacuation happened last weekend with concerns that the heavily eroded dam could collapse causing 30 feet waves to crash over surrounding communities. Thanks to water removal from the man-made Oroville lake and repairs to the dam’s spillways, the evacuation has been lifted.
While people have been let back to return to their homes on Tuesday, officials are still cautious about changes in conditions and the potential of another flooding event. Properly repairing the spillways that have been damaged and eroded will take months to accomplish. When both the main and emergency spillways were showing signs of significant erosion on Sunday, crews have been working to remove 50 feet of water from the lake as well as repairing holes with sacks of rocks.
Butte County Sheriff, Kory Honea, said to reporters that the threat was “a stark reminder that the forces of Mother Nature can create emergency situations requiring swift and immediate action.”
California has been dealing with a multi-year long drought, and so having a flood threat sounds almost ridiculous for this area! However, the rain season occurs around March and so officials are keeping their eyes open for any storm systems that could damage the Oroville dam further.
As always, we will keep you posted on any further developments on this story!