Sacramento is in no danger, but tens of thousands of people were evacuated. They're being told that the immediate danger has passed and that they can return home
With the crisis at the Oroville Dam stabilized for now, authorities announced Tuesday that the 188,000 people evacuated Sunday will be allowed to return to their homes but should prepare to move again if a new emergency arises.
The announcement by Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, who ordered the mass exodus Sunday afternoon amid fears that the dam’s emergency spillway might collapse, came in a 1:40 p.m. press briefing in Oroville...
Despite that, officials said they are confident that the steps taken to repair the hillside along the emergency spillway – using helicopters to dump boulders into holes and pour concrete on top of the piles – have made the structure safe in the event that the emergency spillway must be used again.
They also said such a scenario is highly unlikely, with the next series of storms predicted to be much weaker than previous ones...
More storms are predicted to hit the area starting Thursday, but Croyle said they are not expected to be powerful enough to produce rainfall that will create another problem.
Meanwhile, a massive effort is underway to fill in erosion in front of the emergency spillway that led to officials ordering the evacuations. Authorities have 40 truckloads moving 30 tons of boulders every hour, two helicopters dumping rocks every 90 seconds and 125 construction crews at work.
“We’re aggressively attacking the erosion concerns that have been identified...,” Croyle said. “We have a long spring runoff ahead of us, and we’re prepared for that...”
You'd think that perhaps they'd be doing maintenance on dams all along, but we in California have other priorities
The flood danger from the Oroville Dam receded Monday, but California was hit by a wave of criticism for failing to heed warnings about risks to the spillway at a time when the state spent generously on illegal immigrants and high-speed rail.
California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, came under fire amid reports that federal and state officials for years rebuffed or ignored calls to fortify the massive 50-year-old dam, which provides water to more than 20 million farmers and residential consumers...
A radio talk show host, Mr. Donnelly said California “has been so busy defying President Donald Trump in order to protect illegal aliens from deportation that it forgot to do the things government is supposed to do, like maintain infrastructure. Governor Brown is now going hat-in-hand to beg the Trump administration for emergency funds.”
That's a bit of hyperbole, at least as far as raising the topic of defying the new president. California has been spending money on illegals and building the bullet-train-from-nowhere-to-nowhere for many times longer than the few weeks Trump has been president.
Built in 1968, the Oroville Dam, located about 70 miles north of Sacramento on the Feather River, is the tallest dam in the nation at 770 feet, but environmental groups argue that the project’s infrastructure needs have been a low priority.
In 2005, advocacy groups led by Friends of the River urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order the state to reinforce the dam’s earthen walls with concrete, citing the erosion risk, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The agency rejected the request on the recommendation of the state Department of Water Resources and local water agencies, which would have been on the hook for improvements that could have cost as much as $100 million.
Reinforcing the Oroville Dam was not included on Mr. Brown’s $100 billion wish list of projects prepared last month at the request of the National Governors Association in response to Mr. Trump’s call for $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements, CNBC reported.
One project that did make the list: California high-speed rail, a pet project of Mr. Brown’s with an estimated price tag of $100 billion that has become for state Republicans a symbol of out-of-control government spending.
What's just as bad, these reservoirs we have in California, and the dams that create them, aren't designed for water storage as much as they are for flood control
. That's partly why, for the past 5 years of drought, so much water has flowed out of our reservoirs--well, that, and we have to keep tiny fish that no one has ever seen alive (thank you environmentalists). We haven't added water storage since the 1970s, despite the fact that our population has grown so much since then.
This is California, this is what you get when one party runs both houses of the legislature for so many decades. Heckuva job, Brownie.