(London Daily Mail) Small cracks have appeared in a new concrete spillway at Oroville Dam, a development state officials say was expected but an engineering expert says could lead to serious safety issues.
In a previously undisclosed October letter, federal regulators asked Department of Water Resources officials to explain the hairline cracks on the Butte County, California dam's massive new concrete flood-control chute, KQED reported Tuesday.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also asked state water officials what, if any, steps might be required to address the issue.
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In February, authorities ordered nearly 200,000 people downstream of the dam to evacuate when both spillways suddenly began crumbling. The feared uncontrolled releases of water over the dam did not occur, and authorities allowed residents to return to their homes within days.