A California couple got married at an evacuation center on Valentine's Day after they were displaced from their home amid fears that a damaged spillway at the Lake Oroville dam could fail and unleash a wall of water.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told almost 200,000 residents Wednesday to use the time this week before the storms fully move in to prepare for another evacuation if needed. The dam's heavily damaged main spillway was still able to expel water at 100,000 cubic feet per second, as it has around the clock since Sunday afternoon, with no apparent signs of significant new erosion.
-Efforts to shore up Oroville dam spillways have helped to bring the water level down, officials say. "Any resident displaced by the evacuation may return home at 1 p.m".
The rest of his family was staying at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, which will stay open until further notice. "People were just panicking, honking and yelling at each other", he said. According to officials, after crews worked Monday to restore water levels, water was no longer flowing over the emergency spillway and lake levels continued to fall.
The problem occurred six days after engineers discovered a growing hole in the dam's main, concrete spillway Lake Oroville is the main reservoir of California's State Water Project, which supplies water for more than half the state's 39 million residents and for millions of acres of farmland in the leading agricultural state.
Honea said there was a plan to plug the hole by using helicopters to drop rocks into the crevasse. California will get some assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Gov.
Five Arizonans are being sent to northern California to help hundreds of thousands of people who were evacuated after officials became concerned about the structural integrity of a nearby dam.
"We activated to ensure we're postured to rapidly respond to any needs that California may have to protect life and property", Dr. Ahsha Tribble, the acting regional administrator for FEMA Region 9, said in a statement.
"There is still a lot of unknowns", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a news conference.
That's something they aim to avoid by continuing the high-ouput release of the main spillway.
"We're all coming back and pack and be ready this time", Remocal said.
By Wednesday morning, officials said the lake level was low enough to handle rain from the next storm, Dan Brekke reported.
Gleick said federal and state governments are underinvesting in infrastructure, especially when it comes to water-related infrastructure.