State says it is making progress patching Oroville dam
February 13, 2017
• Dumping rocks and gravel into eroded gash
• Oroville Lake’s levels dropping
Water is pouring out of Lake Oroville at the rate of 100,000 cubic feet per second, using the main spillway on the dam, the Department of Water Resources says Monday evening. That’s more than enough water to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool every second.
By 6 p.m. Monday, lake levels had dropped to 894 feet above sea level. That’s about six feet under the top of the dam. DWR hopes to drop the lake level further so it will have capacity to handle rainstorms expected to start Wednesday and last for perhaps five days.
And while the massive lake is being drained using the dam’s damaged main spillway, workers are trying to plug huge holes in the emergency spillway by using helicopters to drop bags of boulders into the holes and then covering them with a slurry to try ot jell the jumble together.
Total discharges from the reservoir remain consistent with flood control releases at this time of year under these weather conditions, the agency says.
However, despite the progress on repairing the damage at the dam, DWR has made no mention of ending the mandatory evacuations that have sent some 180,000 downstream residents to more than a dozen emergency shelters.