On Monday, emergency workers began to repair the damaged spillway, which led to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. It is the first time that the Lake Oroville Dam, opened in 1968, has water flowing over the emergency spillway.
Mass evacuation orders began yesterday but it was reported a few hours ago that water levels had dropped. The weather forecast does say rain in the area could continue on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Earlier today, helicopters were sent to the Lake Oroville Dam to help with the emergency repairs. Bags of rocks were taken by helicopters to fill the areas affected by erosion. The emergency repairs are being done before there is more rain in the area, which could increase water levels.
On Sunday, nearly 200,000 people were evacuated from areas below the dam. Authorities did not give people a date when they could return to their homes. Evacuation centers were opened for the people leaving the area. The state water resources announced on Sunday that the evacuation orders were not a drill. The Los Angeles Times reported just a few minutes ago that evacuations below the dam remain in effect as emergency staff try to make repairs before new storms.
The evacuations began after officials spotted severe erosion on the emergency spillway. The dam has been filled by the recent rains, which are unusual in the area. Rain is expected to begin falling later this week and continue through Saturday and Sunday. More than two inches are expected to fall on the Lake Oroville Dam. The flood threat began when officials found a hole in the emergency spillway. On Sunday night, water levels decreased and water was no longer flowing over the emergency spillway. KCRA Sacramento reports that there is no planned time to lift evacuations.
The Lake Oroville Dam is about 75 miles north of Sacramento and about 25 miles southeast of Chico, a city where evacuation shelters were opened. Several news sites are now reporting that evacuations may not end until fixes are made to the dam. Emergency staff are now working to fix the spillway before more rain falls. The evacuation orders remain in effect for nearby areas.