(Sacramento Bee) With stormwater and snowmelt pouring into the reservoir faster than expected, the operator of the crippled Oroville Dam raised the possibility of having to release water from the facility’s emergency spillway as soon as Saturday – a last-ditch alternative that officials had been hoping to avoid.
William Croyle, director of the state Department of Water Resources, told reporters Thursday evening that water levels in Lake Oroville could reach the brim sometime Saturday, forcing activation of the emergency spillway. The emergency system, which has never been used, would dump water onto an exposed hillside, dislodging trees and earthen debris into the Feather River and potentially affect communities downstream.
If the emergency spillway has to be used, “you’re going to get a lot of debris and erosion,” Croyle said.
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