Dramatic aerial photos show extensive damage to California's Oroville Dam spillway

Cheryl Sanders
March 2, 2017

On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown proposed spending $437 million for flood control and emergency response and preparedness, days after damage to the dam, which is the tallest in the USA, led to the evacuation of almost 200,000 people downstream.

Honea says the emergency isn't over yet, and he's asking the public to be patient.

"When they shut off the spillway gates, it left tens of thousands of fish stranded in little pools outside of the river channel that couldn't get back", explained Department of Fish & Wildlife Spokesperson Andrew Hughan.


The Department of Water Resources (DWR) successfully curtailed flows from the flood control spillway yesterday from 50,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 0 cfs.

California water authorities have started slowing the release of water from the Oroville Dam's crippled spillway. Water levels in the reservoir reached capacity at 901 feet earlier in the month, although those have fallen almost 60 feet since then.

A flyover video taken by California's Department of Water Resources shows the damage wrought on the Oroville Dam spillway and surrounding countryside from last month's emergency caused by a massive deluge across the state.


Water levels reached their highest point on February 11, at a frightening 901 feet, which flooded the spillway and prompted a three-day evacuation.

The outflow from behind the 770-foot-tall dam will be stopped for several days to allow workers to clear concrete and other debris from a pool at the bottom of the spillway. But the flow of water ripped through a road below and carved out deep chasms in the ground.


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