Residents Can’t Be Evacuated In Time If Oroville Dam Fails Says Local Sheriff – I Am Not Trying To Scare Anyone – Just Stay Informed Of Situation.

by Pamela Williams
I am not trying to scare anyone, but honestly you must consider all angles in this breaking news situation on the Orville Dam. This is only one viewpoint from a local Sheriff, but if you are near the Orville Dam you should at least weigh the story against your situation.
The water levels of the Oroville Dam have dropped, somewhat. However, many officials fear that if the decision had to be made, the people could not be evacuated in time. Among those who expressed this specific doubt is Butte County Sheriff, Kory Honea.’

Communities immediately downstream of California’s Lake Oroville dam would not receive adequate warning or time for evacuations if the 770-foot-tall dam itself — rather than its spillways — were to abruptly fail, the state water agency that operates the nation’s tallest dam repeatedly advised federal regulators a half-decade ago.
Regulators at the time recommended that state officials implement more public-warning systems, carry out annual public education campaigns and work to improve early detection of any problems at the dam.
Six years later, state and local officials have adopted some of the recommendations, including automated warnings via reverse 911 calls to residents. But local officials say the state hasn’t tackled other steps that could improve residents’ response, such as providing routine community briefings and improving escape routes?
The catastrophic scenario of a sudden breach at California’s second-largest water reservoir, outlined between 2010 and 2012 in online archives of federal dam regulators, is a different and far graver situation than the concern that prompted sudden evacuation orders Sunday for 188,000 downstream residents. Operators of the nearly half-century-old dam in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills became worried that the water cascading from the reservoir after a series of winter storms could roar uncontrolled down a rapidly eroding emergency spillway toward towns downstream.”

If this is not a potentially catastrophic situation, then I have never seen one.  IF there is even a chance the dam could fail, the people should be evacuated in the same manner that the Butte County Sheriff tried to do.
Local radio personality, Paul Preston,  issued the following statement:

“The shortfalls in organization as well as infrastructure to quickly get residents out were on full display in the chaotic hours after the evacuation order. Residents found themselves caught in traffic jams for hours on clogged roads, leading some families to abandon their cars. While many local officials and ordinary people rushed to help direct traffic and staff emergency shelters, evacuees also reported seeing fistfights on gridlocked roads.
In an email Thursday, state water agency spokesman Ed Wilson said that despite the repeated back-and-forth correspondence between state and federal officials about reducing detection and response times in a sudden dam failure, the scenario was “hypothetical” and “not how dams typically fail in real life.”
Asked Friday whether residents immediately downstream would have time and warning to get out if the dam itself failed, Sheriff Kory Honea in Butte County, where Lake Oroville is located, answered, “it’s a very, very daunting challenge.”

Published on Feb 21, 2017

URGENT: Retention basin above East Dayton, NV failing! FLASH FLOOD WARNING UNTIL 6:40PM. THIS IS NOT A DRILL…
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Started streaming 4 hours ago
The purpose of this live stream is to provide the public with a place to discuss events and share information.
Current Water Level Data –
Webcam provided by California Department of Parks and Recreation
Butte County Sheriff and EMS, Oroville Police / Fire –

Livermore is above Oroville No?…well look at all these closures above Oroville…here’s your water.
In case anyone commutes this way!!
Livermore Police Department
4 hrs ·
Due to excessive rainfall, the following areas in Livermore are experiencing heavy flooding and should be avoided:
*S. Livermore Ave./Concannon Blvd.
*Concannon Blvd./Arroyo Rd.
*SR-84 (Isabel Ave.)/Concannon Blvd.
*Collier Canyon Rd./Portola Ave.
*Collier Canyon Rd./N. Canyons Pkwy
*Collier Canyon Rd./Stone Peak Common
*2575 Collier Canyon Rd. (Parking lot under water, business flooded)
*Junction Ave./Old First St.
*Rhododendron Dr. from Springtown Blvd. to Golf Dr. (underwater)
*Palomino Rd./Pinto St.
*Shetland Rd./Palomino Rd. (underwater)
*Dalton Ave./N. Vasco Rd.
*Greenville Rd./Marathon Dr.
*Greenville Rd./Patterson Pass Rd.
*Tesla Rd. from Greenville Rd. to Buena Vista
*Arroyo Rd./Robertson Park
*Concannon Blvd./Wente St.
*Entrance to Holdner Park (Sink hole)
*39 E. Vineyard Ave. (Chevron Gas Station)
*1700 block of Creek Dr. – (Bike path about to collapse)
********************CLOSED ROADWAYS***********************
If you have additional hazardous flooding to report and don’t see it above, please contact the Livermore Police Department Dispatch Center at (925)371-4987.
Please do not attempt to drive through flooded areas. Just six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.
**This post is being updated as new information comes in. Please check back periodically for most current information.**
No…Livermore is in the Bay Area, South Bay to be exact…very far from Oroville.

New Pictures Posted!
I just watched this video….this is unbelievable….



33 thoughts on “Residents Can’t Be Evacuated In Time If Oroville Dam Fails Says Local Sheriff – I Am Not Trying To Scare Anyone – Just Stay Informed Of Situation.”

    • Jeff, I think this is a national crisis, and it should be viewed as one now. All eyes and ears should be on Orville Dam. The entire government should be focused on this now…right now.

      • I just think it’s glorious to potentially see karma happen. That’s the real issue. Wish I believed in god or the devil, but I don’t. Awesome coinkie dink, potentially.
        I have seen enemies of mine get consumed by other things, and it is heartwarming.
        I think Moonbeam should get on that secession bill as soon as possible, I’m not paying for California’s problems.
        Where are all the mexicans holding hands making a person wall to hold back the water? Like they did to protest Trump on the mexican side of the border, but our US mayor there supporting them, not arrested on his return home. That’s amazing too.

  1. On no major news story that I can remember have I seen more inaccurate or just plain ignorant reporting. The dam has never been in danger of collapse, breach, buckle, or any other words I’ve heard to sensationalize the story. The dam is separate from the two spillways, and any spillway failure never threatened the dam. The very worst that could have happened, and the threat of that was very brief, was for the backcutting in the rock below the emergency spillway (which is separate from the main spillway) could conceivably have collapsed part of the emergency spillway. But even that was never likely to collapse all of the emergency spillway, which is 1,700 feet long. The tremendous damage to the main spillway never threatened the spillway gates, and never threatened the dam. These are the facts. Everything else is sensationalist reporting, which isn’t much different from fake news.
    If I’d been smart I would have started a 100-to-1 betting pool at the beginning of this that the dam wouldn’t blow. Give me a dollar now, and I’ll give you 100 dollars if the dam breaks. I’d be rich by now because there would have been millions of people dumb enough to take me up on it — they don’t know the difference between the dam and the spillway.

    • I resent you making light of this situation. You need to do an article yourself and turn it in here…if you have the balls and the concern for all the people who are living near the dam now. I hope you are right, but since you are an expert, if you do not share your expertise right now with the public, you are a spineless and inhumane person. Put your time where your mouth is. Write it now, please. IWB will publish it.

      • Calm down, Pamela, I wasn’t referring to just your article here but to the scores of articles and videos I’ve read and watched on this event.
        Of course I would be concerned for all of the people there — I grew up in that area (actually got to watch Oroville Dam being built) and have family and friends who would be in danger if the dam blew, but the dam has never been threatened in this situation. I can’t stress that enough. The “dam” IS NOT the “spillway”. LOOK AT THE SITE CLOSELY. The damaged main spillway empties into the Feather River hundreds of yards downstream from the base of the dam, with an enormous amount of solid bedrock between the right abutment of the dam and the spillway — by design.
        The best reporting I’ve seen so far on this is a local man named Juan Browne. He is on-site, extremely familiar with the dam and the lay of the land around it, has been listening closely and in person to all of the press conferences, and has current access for videotaping the event. He is all business and knows his facts first-hand. See Juan’s report for 2/21/17 here:

        • Tom, thank you so much. Could you put this in an email and mail it to me? Then I will get IWB to publish it, so everyone will have accurate information. I know these people are so hungry for the truth. My email is I will get it published immediately. Include any information you feel might help the public there. Thank you so much, Tom.

    • Two aspects of the overall California crisis that are important to point out: one is that years of drought had ALL of the reservoirs at historic lows and ready to receive much larger volumes of runoff water than usual and they STILL had these problems; the other is that none of these dams existed before 1900 and so Native Americans in the region for all of the thousands of years they lived there had to be ready to WALK to high ground while the Central Valley turned into the world’s largest freshwater lake for days or weeks. Try to imagine old California with ZERO ability to control flood waters!
      So even with the trials and tribulations this winter, the flood control infrastructure has done its job marvelously well and Californians are getting off easy.

        • Bix has some of this right, some wrong merely by being out of date, and some just plain wrong. The photos he’s using of the main spillway after the hole was discovered are many days old and the damage is ten times worse now. But in spite of that, the main spillway is still completely usable even with the damage and there is no damage to the gates. The side channel around the spillway is now eroded so deep that up until rather large flows are released all the water takes the path of least resistance around the side. At this point the damage is done, so they have no reason to hold back on flows. We’ll find out in a few months what the new spillway is going to cost taxpayers, but the old one is a write-off at this point even if it’s still working for the duration of this emergency.
          The powerplant is completely unusable as a part of the water-lowering options at this point because the debris washed into the river downstream where the two spillways enter has raised the water level 22 feet at the turbine outflows. If they open the gates for the turbine outflow, the water will flood the turbine room doing great damage. There is a rush-project that is proceeding well near the turbine outlets to build two barges with special long-arm excavating machines to clear debris and lower the water level. The good news is that the turbines, at 10,000 cfs, are a minor factor in lowering the lake anyway, compared to the 100,000 they’ve been putting down the main spillway.
          One of the things that I noticed after the emergency spillway had overflowed was that the first bit of rock and pumped concrete which was put in before the overflow occurred had held when I thought that it wouldn’t. There are concrete curing accelerants that can be added to the mix and the engineers must have called for the maximum. I never use such curing agents because they sacrifice a bit of the final strength, so I’m not used to thinking in terms of concrete that can take a waterfall the day after it’s poured. Anyway, the success of that small reinforcement at the very south end of the emergency spillway has given me more confidence that the rest of the same type of work going on all over the rest of the emergency spillway will also hold if they have to use it again.
          Also, you can see in the photos taken after the emergency spillway stopped flowing that the rust-colored surface rock which was chemically weathered and fractured by millenia of tree roots is what eroded. Once that erosion got down to a blue-green rock below the rusty rock the erosion proceeded much more slowly, so the first event was a bigger knuckle-biter than a second event will be.

  2. Thanks Pam. I’m an expat Bay Area native and lived near Livermore which as you said is East bay.
    It is hard to believe that law enforcement and emergency personnel can be so cavalier about the fate of thousands of people. ????

  3. We came within a heartbeat of the emergency spillway giving way and that would have dumped a cubic kilometer of water on Oroville and the surrounding vicinity. There would have been a massive death toll. California is infested with corrupt politicians in both parties, scamming the system for personal profits coming from bribes, etc. Gov. Brown and the entire CA assembly is guilty. Give them another chance and deaths from our failing infrastructure could mount into the hundreds or thousands of lives. Recall the lot of them, fix the infrastructure first and give polygraphs to all CA elected officials before a real catastrophe claims the lives of vast numbers of Californians.

  4. All the dams above Oroville are topping out… no where for the water to go. Add coming storms Friday and snow melt..
    One official said this could become a 35 foot all of water across SACRAMENTO…. within 90 minutes of a breach

    • I know, and this is the video that explains it all. I am an emt in training, and the first thing one does is to stay focused in the moment. Get back packs together with emergency supplies, I know it is hard right now. First know that you are not alone. I myself rely on God first and foremost in every crisis I have faced or ever will face. So stay informed, focus on your first goal: backpacks for each family member, battery powered radio, flashlights, peanut butter, etc….but know you might not need these things. It is in God’s hands.

    • We are facing this as a Nation, and the news media is letting us down. I will never forgive the mainstream news media for turning their backs on this. Thank God for the Internet. But we must face this together, and know that God is at the helm, and ultimately He will take care of all of us. Stand strong, focus, don’t panic, and realize that we are all placed on earth to show our strength and courage for others. We can and will get through this.


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