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The latest on the Oroville Dam in California

Last week I reported that the Oroville Dam in northern California was in danger of losing its capacity to hold back water from the reservoir there, the second biggest one in California, due to a damaged spillway and water overtopping the emergency overland spillway due to heavy rains in the area.  Hundreds of thousands of people downstream were evacuated for fear of a dam-related flash flood if the spillways failed.  Fortunately, in spite of the damage to the spillway, the dam operators have been able to release quite a bit of water from the dam in preparation for the next big storm to hit the area, which will happen in the next few days.  They are still releasing as much water as they can to give themselves a cushion for more rainfall, although this is causing additional damage to the main spillway.  Yesterday’s QPF map showed that area could get up to 11 more inches of rain this week.  Here are some stories related to this dam and to the status of other dams across California.

Yahoo News: The Crisis at Oroville Dam Explained

Washington Post: The stunning destruction at Oroville Dam and the work ahead

Cliff Mass Weather Blog: For some in California, the worst is yet to come

Sacramento Bee: Oroville Dam’s flood-control manaul hasn’t been updated for half a century

Smithsonian.com: Despite dam danger, California’s still in a drought

New York Times: Oroville is a Warning for California Dams, as Climate Change Adds Stress

And finally, a reminder that properly removing a dam (as opposed to letting it get washed away) and letting the water flow freely can be a good thing:

Randy Pench/The Sacramento Bee via AP