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Thousands of Evacuations Due to Impending Dam Failure

The Oroville Dam, located in Northern California, is on the verge of failing due to erosion. On February 7, 2017, a crater appeared on the dam spillway during emergency control release. Although civil engineers had hoped that the damaged spillway was still usable, steps have been taken to prepare an auxiliary spillway, such as moving power transmission lines and cutting trees.

The Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the United States at 770 feet. Located on Feather River and compounding Oroville Lake, a manmade lake with the second highest capacity in California, the dam regulates water supply, control floods, and generates hydroelectricity.

On February 12, the California Department of Water Resources issued an emergency evacuation order for residents living in low-lying levels in Oroville, due to the impending failure of the auxiliary spillway. Drivers are also informed to avoid traveling towards Oroville.

Warning the residents, Yuba County Office of Emergency Services tweeted, “The auxiliary spillway is close to failing. Please travel safely. Contact family and friends. Help the elderly. Take only routes to the east, south, or west. DO NOT TRAVEL NORTH TOWARD OROVILLE!!!!!”

If you live near Oroville, please be cautious and evacuate the area immediately.

About Shannon Yan

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