by Pamela Williams
Evacuations of Orville advised by Water Staff due to finding of a hole eroding land back toward the spillway. Compromise the spillway, substantial release of water down stream, and potential of catastrophic failure.
The DWR folks rate of cut not as rapid as they thought it would be, trying to prevent catastrophic failure. Some good news. Continue with evacuation order.
Another effort being made to shore up eroded area, helicopters to drop rock into crevice to prevent more erosion.
Not talking about failure of dam but failure of the spillway! Dept. of water resources do not have models, and that is one way to call for the evacuation.
Better to be safe…not sorry. Proactive measure, but do not wait it out…going door to door. South Orville being told to get out now.
Evacuations centers open.
The water elevation behind the troubled dam continued to drop Sunday morning, nearing a goal of 850 feet previously set by the California Department of Water Resources despite a of bout wet weather that has flooded highways and roads throughout the north state, ChicoER.com reported.
As of 9 a.m. Sunday, the elevation of the reservoir was 852 feet, down about 49 feet when water began flowing over the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam Feb. 11. That overflow prompted an emergency evacuation order affecting nearly 190,000 people downstream after authorities became concerned the emergency might fail.
Water releases down the damaged main spillway were measured at 55,000 cubic-feet per second, with inflow into the lake measured at 40,000 cfs.
The flow down the main spillway is far lower than it has been in recent days, giving crews a chance to view debris buildup and dredge debris piles below the chute. The pileup has caused water to back up toward the Hyatt Powerplant. If the amount of water pushing against the plant is reduced it can be restarted.
Work patching eroded areas at the hillside below the emergency spillway was expected to continue Sunday despite stormy weather, officials said. Crews were placing rock, aggregate and cement slurry into the eroded areas around the clock.
The state Department of Water Resources said it will continue to monitor the dam, spillways, powerhouse and other structures and repairs and an evacuation warning remained in place for central and southern Butte County. An evacuation center remained open at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico.
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The American Red Cross has provided an interactive map with open shelter information, including estimates of how many people are currently at the centers.
Expect serious traffic delays in the affected areas as residents evacuate the area. The Yuba-Sutter Transit bus services have been suspended.
Hotels are reported to be full in Chico, Grass Valley and Nevada City.
Here is another live stream:
(I will look for more updates.)