by Pamela Williams
This is technical information on the Oroville Dam that I myself, Pamela Williams, could not give the IWB reader. However, I felt that this is good information from someone who is really familiar with the Dam.
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:
Take a firsthand look at the situation.
And if you wish to see what a real earth fill dam blow-out looks like, we are lucky to have excellent footage and reporting on the Teton Dam disaster on June 5, 1976 — perhaps America’s most embarrassing infrastructure engineering screw-up. It is very well described in the book _Cadillac Desert_ by Marc Reisner and can be seen here:
The Teton Dam, built on the Snake River, idaho, failed on June 5, 1976,
causing substantial loss of life and property. Failure was attributed to piping through the joints in unsealed rock beneath the grout cap. Failure may also been caused by hydraulic fracturing of the core material. The breach released 2,000,000 cfs into the Teton River Canyon, causing widespread destruction
THANK YOU, TOM.
ANDERSON DAM….this is the newest Dam in trouble and it’s FLOODING SAN JOSE!!!!
* For some reason only the link is sharing. Please copy and paste to get my commentary, too **
You guys, we have to have a serious discussion. Please everyone read.
The flooding that San Jose is experiencing today along Coyote Creek is peanuts compared to what could happen if we had an earthquake right now. Anderson reservoir is over capacity and the dam is not seismically stable.
In 2009, the Water District put out this report on their projected impact in the case of an earthquake occurring when the reservoir is full. The short version is this: Everything along Hwy 101/ Coyote Creek is destroyed in less than 8 hours. The longer version: In 2 hours all of Morgan Hill would be under 25 feet of water. In 3 hours, downtown Gilroy would be under 15 feet of water. In 4 hours, East San Jose would be under 6 feet of water. In 8 hours, parts of Milpitas and all of Alviso would be under 6 feet of water.
Please take the time to read the report, study the map, and find out if you, your family, or your friends are in an impacted area. Then PUT TOGETHER YOUR GO BAG and find the fastest route to get yourself UP A HILL. If you feel an earthquake, don’t wait for anyone to evacuate you; they might not be able to put together evacuation teams in time. Go to your mom’s house (or your brother’s or your girlfriend’s) and STAY THERE for a day, until you know FOR SURE the dam didn’t break.
We never know when our “Big One” will arrive, but we all know we need be ready for it anyway. We just never get around to doing it. It just so happens that if it came THIS WEEK, RIGHT NOW the circumstances would be especially dire.
I’m making this post public so that you can share this with people you know who live in the affected area. Tag your loved ones!