Sunday, February 12, 2017

Oroville, Yuba City evacuate as spillway nears failure

The Sacramento River through Redding is the highest it's been in decades, covering parts of Park Marina Drive and encroaching on homes along the river. But we're not bearing anything close to the brunt of all the storms' aftermath.

Oroville and Yuba City are evacuating as the Oroville Dam's spillway may fail. From the state Department of Water Resources:
Based on information received from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the incident command team managing Lake Oroville, counties and cities near Lake Oroville and the surrounding area issued evacuation orders for residents. The concern is that erosion at the head of the auxiliary spillway threatens to undermine the concrete weir and allow large, uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville. Those potential flows could exceed the capacity of downstream channels.

To avert more erosion at the top of the auxiliary spillway, DWR doubled the flow down its main spillway from 55,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 100,000 cfs. The next several hours will be crucial in determining whether the concrete structure at the head of the auxiliary spillway remains intact and prevents larger, uncontrolled flows.

Current flows are contained with downstream channels.

Flow over the auxiliary spillway weir began Saturday morning and has slowed considerably. DWR officials expect that flow to stop entirely soon, which will reduce the erosion on the downstream side of the structure.

Oroville Dam itself is sound and is a separate structure from the auxiliary spillway.
From the city of Yuba City:
City of Yuba City strongly recommends an evacuation of all residents immediately. Travel options are as follows: South on Highway 99, West on Highway 20, Highway 99 South to Highway 113, or South on George Washington to Highway 113.

Do not travel Eastbound on Highway 20 or Bridge Street as the bridges are closed. Do not travel North.
I will be checking on agricultural impacts. Check here and at for any updates.

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