Skip to main content

Water Releases To Resume At Damaged California Dam Spillway

Officials inspect Oroville Dam's crippled spillway in Oroville, Calif., Feb. ...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Officials inspect Oroville Dam's crippled spillway in Oroville, Calif., Feb. 28, 2017.

With stormy weather approaching, the state plans to resume releasing water down a damaged spillway at the nation's tallest dam.

The eroded main spillway at Northern California's Oroville Dam hasn't been used since March 27.

State officials Thursday said workers have been reinforcing the concrete chute in hopes of protecting it from further damage during the remainder of the wet winter season.

RELATED: Oroville Dam Emergency Puts California Dams In The Spotlight

Nearly 200,000 people were ordered to evacuate in February when a second, emergency spillway began breaking apart from floodwaters. A potential disaster was averted when operators released huge amounts of water down the damaged main spillway to lower the level of the lake behind the dam.

Repairs could take up to two years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Authorities say the dam itself suffered no damage.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.