Oroville Dam Repairs Shrouded in Secrecy

Seven weeks ago nearly 200,000 northern California residents were ordered to evacuate their homes in the vicinity of the Oroville Dam.

This evacuation order was issued because of severe erosion to the dam’s earthen emergency spillway resulting from Lake Oroville overflowing its banks. Outflow down the main spillway at the time had been reduced due to damage discovered earlier that week. The resulting erosion of the emergency spillway from that incident has forced officials to reluctantly use the damaged main spillway since then to keep the lake’s level low enough to affect repairs to both spillways.