(USA TODAY) OROVILLE, Calif. — Eldon Hofeling raises his voice over the roar of backhoes, helicopters, tumbling rocks, dump trucks and 750,000 gallons of water rushing past every second.
“It’s driving me nuts,” he says.
Steps away from his house, hundreds of contractors are struggling to repair the Oroville Dam before the spring rains arrive in earnest. A stream of semi-trailers unloads chunks of rocks, which backhoes then load onto large dump trucks to deliver to weak spots on the other side of the dam. Helicopters chatter overhead every 90 seconds, lifting in even more rocks to shore up the dam’s top. Diesel engines rumble day and night, contractors bark orders and neighbors wander by to take a look.
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