Breaking News: Emergency spillway at Lake Oroville used for first time in the dam’s 48-year history. Here’s the latest: https://goo.gl/a8LHT5
Lake Oroville, California’s 2nd largest reservoir, is filled to the brim. For the first time in its 48 year history the reservoir is triggering it’s “emergency spillway”. Water just began to pour over the “emergency spillway” at about 8am PST and is only forecast to increase throughout the day today.
Oroville dam, CA and emergency spillway. image: krcrtv.com
It is estimated that 89,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water is flowing into into Lake Oroville while only 55,000 (cfs) is flowing out.
Lake Oroville’s regulated spillway has been nearly completely destroyed due to the huge amounts of water running down it. On Tuesday a gaping 250′ long and 40′ deep hole appeared in the spillway that lead to its demise.
Images of the Lake Oroville’s regulated spillway from CA – DWR
CALIFORNIA DEPT OF WATER RESOURCES PRESS RELEASE:
February 11, 2017
Released 9:40 a.m.
Oroville Dam’s Auxiliary Spillway Begins Flowing
Oroville, California – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) said the auxiliary spillway at Lake Oroville started spilling water at 8:00 am today. This occurred when the lake level exceeded 901 feet elevation above sea level.
DWR officials said the flow over the auxiliary spillway will range between 5,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). This will combine with the flow from the primary spillway, which is currently at 55,000 cfs, and this will result in a total flow to the Feather River between 60,000 to 70,000 cfs. This flow to the Feather River is expected to be about half the downstream flood system capacity and consistent with releases made at this time of year in wet years such as this.
The volume of water is expected to pose no flood threat downstream and should remain well within the capacity of the Feather River and other channels to handle. Oroville Dam itself remains safe and there is no imminent threat to the public.
DWR and CAL FIRE crews in past days have been clearing trees and brush from the path water is taking in the auxiliary spillway, which is an unlined hillside. The auxiliary spillway flows are expected to wash soil and debris into the Feather River.
Lake Conditions including lake levels, inflows, and outflow can be obtained at: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/resDetailOrig.action?resid=OR