13:42 GMT +321 October 2019
Listen Live
    In this Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, water flows down Oroville Dam's main spillway near Oroville, Calif.

    Evacuation Ordered as California's Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway to Fail

    © AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli
    US
    Get short URL
    121227
    Subscribe

    The city of Oroville and all of Yuba County in California have been ordered to evacuate as the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway is predicted to fail imminently.

    The combined population of the areas under evacuation would appear to reach nearly 100,000 people. ​The California Department of Water Resources is ordering residents to evacuate northward. 

    Social media accounts report traffic jams as people try to get out of harm's way. A flash flood warning has been issued and will remain in effect through Monday afternoon, local television stations report.

    A government official reported that helicopters will drop off containers filled with rocks to strengthen the emergency spillway.

    On Tuesday, a huge hole formed in the spillway of the dam, which officials fear will grow until it hits bedrock. The dam's emergency spillway was then put into use, but severe erosion meant that officials are not sure it will be able to hold. Though officials described the situation as stable as recently as this morning, they are now urging residents in low-lying areas to leave, BNO News reports.

    The dam is the nation's tallest, and California's second largest reservoir. 

    Officials had been expecting a problem for days, but had hoped to avoid using the emergency spillway, the Chicago Tribune reported yesterday. This is the first time in the dam's nearly 50-year history that the emergency spillway has been used. 

    ​Water began flowing over the emergency spillway — basically a route quickly cleared of brush to allow water to be released in a somewhat controlled fashion — for the first time in the dam's history on Saturday. The fear is that erosion in the emergency spillway could cause an uncontrolled flow of water.

    Related:

    US Unable to Confirm Reports Daesh Commander Killed Near Syria’s Tabqa Dam
    Mass Evacuation Underway as Dam Breaches on New Zealand River
    Timelapse: Novosibirskaya Dam Re-Equipped With New Technical Gear
    Russia's VEB Denies Media Reports on Dam Construction Deal in Argentina
    Tags:
    Flood, emergency, evacuation, panic, Oroville dam, Oroville, Marysville, United States, California
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik