Sparking panic, the California Department of Water Resources said on Twitter at about 4:30 p.m. PST (0030 GMT Monday) that the spillway next to the dam was “predicted to fail within the next hour” despite local authorities suggesting the situation was under control for much of Saturday and early Sunday.
As further reported on Sunday night, Butte County Sheriff Korey Honea told an earlier news briefing he was told by experts that the hole forming in the spillway could compromise the structure. Rather than risk thousands of lives, the decision was made to order evacuations.
Officials said they feared the damaged spillway could unleash a 30-foot wall of water on Oroville, north of the state capital Sacramento. They said evacuation orders remained in place for some 188,000 people in Oroville, Yuba County, Butte County, Marysville and nearby communities and would be re-evaluated at dawn.
Tens of thousands evacuated over fears of spillway collapsing at Oroville Dam , tallest dam in California [VIDEO]
Tens of thousands of people have been fleeing California towns downstream from the Oroville Dam after fears of an imminent collapse of its spillway prompted an evacuation order. Authorities are seeking to stem the breach with the help of helicopters.
California’s Tallest Dam Overtopping, Spillway Fails from Sinkhole Damage, Possible Evacuation
The Oroville Dam in California finds itself in a situation with the only way to avert an over top of the dam is using an untested emergency spill way built in the 1960’s as the regular spillway was damaged by a sinkhole and has stopped drainage of the lake. Evacuations are not issued yet, but with more rain on the way this dam will over top into the emergency earth 1960’s drain way. Good Luck to all of you. You may need to evacuate, Please prepare in Advance.
California prepares for catastrophe: Battle continues to stop a collapse at Oroville Dam that would drown the area under 100ft of water and sparked an evacuation of 200,000 leaving ghost towns behind
- Fears the Oroville Dam could collapse and unleash flooding which could leave towns 100 foot underwater
- Nearly 200,000 residents evacuated in Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties in Northern California amid fears
- All 23,000 of the California National Guard have been put on standby to assist the situation and recovery
- Federal and state officials rejected concerns that the dam would be under threat from rain 12-years ago
- Water levels reached 50-year high after rainfall and threatened citizens living near the massive Oroville Dam
- The extra water meant the dam’s emergency spillway was called into action for the first time in half a century
- A gaping chasm in the main spillway has disrupted the flow of the water, which prompted the flooding fears