Published on : Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told that the evacuation order has been reduced to an evacuation warning after water management officials drained enough water from the Oroville Dam. the pressure was relieved and averted any scope of major catastrophe.
The warning means that people can return home but should be prepared to evacuate again if necessary, Honea said. More than 188,000 people were ordered to evacuate who were living down river from the dam.
Both the primary and backup drainage channels of the dam, known as spillways, were damaged after a build-up of water that resulted from an extraordinarily wet winter in Northern California that followed years of severe drought. However, the greatest danger came from the emergency spillway, which is damaged, but the officials said that they are still useable.
Honea said that timely action by the department to shore up both spillways while also relieving pressure on the dam averted the immediate danger of a dam failure.
State officials used 40 trucks carrying 30 tons of rock per hour to reinforce the eroded area while two helicopters dropped rock and other materials into the breach. William Croyle, acting director of the Department of Water Resources said that they are aggressively attacking the erosion concerns that have been identified.
California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump asking him to issue an emergency declaration, which would open up federal assistance for the affected communities.