In the meantime, they were evacuating the precious salmon (whose endangered status has been abused by Enviros and the Courts to hamstring infrastructure construction for years) starting 4 days ago.
The cover story is that because the main spillway of the dam broke and the auxiliary spillway was going to be used, all the silt and debris would kill the fish. It seems to me that those in charge knew more than they let on to anyone.
12 years ago Enviro Groups sued to have the Auxiliary spillway covered with Concrete. The suit / request was ignored because the Los Angeles water district and the State of CA did not want to pay the bill. Whoops.
Now, the earthen Auxiliary spillway is compromised and the severe erosion is preventing its’ use.
The main spillway has a 300 foot gash in it due to the failure of the concrete a few weeks ago. They are finally just unloading water at a huge rate down that spillway regardless of the damage. Oroville Dam is huge, and it is the tallest dam in America. It was built in 1968 and appears to have had little, if any maintenance done, explaining the breech of the main spillway.
There are pictures around from 2013 with maintenance crews working on the affected area of the main spillway. What did they know? Why didn’t they do more? Did they relax because of the drought of 2014-2016?
Environmental Groups are doing exactly what I predicted on my Facebook yesterday – on Queue, they are writing articles about how we need to “Re-Think” flood control. AKA, get rid of dams.
Given the absolutely insane way the state responded to the drought, by building no infrastructure, no plans to build any infrastructure and just insane demagogic water conservative edicts, you would expect that the discussion is going to turn to “Dams are Bad”.
I am also not expecting the Republican Leadership to push for investment or investigations. The pattern has been acquiescence and letting the party in charge cover everything up. I hope I am proven wrong.
I do expect, however that Assemblymember James Gallagher (who lives in the evacuation zone) will indeed be loud about this issue. I am sure the state media will ignore him.
Lest you think that the Dam is out of the woods – think again, Part 2 coming up in a bit.