Officials update the situation at the Oroville Dam


THE ONE THAT’S LOCATED IN OROVILLE. SO LET’S GET TO THAT RIGHT NOW. THIS IS THE LATEST ON WHAT’S HAPPENING THERE. THANK YOU FOR BEING SO PATIENT. EVERYONE HERE WITH ME HAS BEEN WORKING VERY HARD AS WE’VE MODIFIED THE INCIDENT ACTION PLAN TO DO THE VERY BEST WE CAN TO SUPPORT THE RESIDENTS OF THE INVOLVED COUNTIES HERE IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA. THANK YOU. SPEAKING FIRST WILL BE SHERIFF MAHONEY. LOTS OF THINGS TO ATTEND TO, AND OF COURSE, WE NEED TO GET AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE BEFORE WE COME IN. WE HAVE SOME INFORMATION TO UPDATE YOU ON. FIRST OFF, I’D LIKE TO, WOULD THIS BE A GOOD TIME TO GIVE A SITUATIONAL BRIEFING? IF YOU COULD DO THAT, THEN I’LL COME BACK. THANK YOU, SHERIFF. GOOD EVENING FOLKS. KEVIN LAWSON. I AM THE INCIDENT COMMANDER FOR CAL FIRE MANAGEMENT TEAM 3. JUST A QUICK OPERATIONAL UPDATE ON THE CURRENT SITUATION WE’RE FACING WITH THE DAM. CURRENTLY RIGHT NOW ON THE MAIN SPILL WAY, WE ARE RELEASING 100,000 CFS. OKAY, CUBIC FEET PER SECOND. THAT’S THE AMOUNT OF WATER THAT WE’RE GOING TO KEEP FLOWING FOR AS LONG AS WE CAN. THE ULTIMATE GOAL WE’RE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH DWR. THOSE ARE THE SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS FOR US. WE’RE WORKING CLOSE WITH THEM. WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO MAIN THANE THAT GOAL. UNTIL THE GOAL IS TO GET IT IT TO DROP APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET. 50FEET. IF WE CAN CONTINUE TO DO THAT, THAT’S GREAT. THAT BRINGS A LITTLE CALM TO WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH HERE. AGAIN, WE ARE DEALING WITH MOTHER NATURE, AND A VERY DYNAMIC SITUATION, THAT IS ONGOING AND MOVING. SO WE’RE DEALING WITH SOME SOIL EROSION THAT IS TAKING PLACE ON THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. THAT IS WAY WE HAVE UPPED THE, WE’VE INCREASED THE RELEASE OF WATER OVER THE MAIN SPILL WAY TO 100,000CPS, SO WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY MORE WATER COMING OVER THE TOP OF THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. THAT IS THE GOAL, BECAUSE WHEN WE HAD WATER COMING OVER THE TOP OF THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY, IT WAS BEGINNING TO ERODE THE GROUND, RIGHT? AND WHEN YOU START TO ERODE THE GROUND, AND THE DIRT AND EVERYTHING ELSE STARTS TO ROLL OFF THE HILL. IT STARTS TO UNDERMINE ITSELF. WHEN IT’S DOING THAT, IT STARTING WORKING BACK TO THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. THAT PORTION OF IT. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DAM ITSELF, A LARGE POSITION. IF THAT IS NOT ADDRESSED, AND WE DON’T TAKE CARE OF THAT AND MITIGATE IT PROPERLY, ESSENTIALLY, WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT IS APPROXIMATELY A 30-FOOT WALL OF WATER THAT WOULD BE COMING OUT OF THE LAKE. NOT THE LAKE DRAINING, BUT A 30- FOOT WALL OF WATER. THAT IS WHY WE TOOK THE MEASURES WE DID, AND IMPLEMENTED THE EVACUATION PROCESS THAT WE HAD GOING. A COUPLE OF QUICK THINGS THAT I WOULD ALSO SHARE WITH YOU. CURRENTLY, RIGHT NOW, THESE ARE SOME NUMBERS THAT I CAN SHARE WITH ALL OF YOU. IN BUTTE COUNTY, WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT IS APPROXIMATELY 35,000 RESIDENTS UNDER EVACUATION ORDER. YUBA COUNTY, WE’RE LOOKING AT 65,000 UNDERNEATH AN EVACUATION ORDER. YUBA CITY, 76,000 UNDER AN EVACUATION WARNING. MARYSVILLE CITY IS 12,000. OKAY? IN A MOMENT I’LL BRING UP DIRECTOR BILL KROYL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES TO MAKE A COMMENT, BUT I DO WANT TO SAY THIS. WE HAVE BEEN GETTING QUESTIONS FROM VARIOUS MEDIA SOURCES ASKING WHETHER OR NOT THERE HAS BEEN LOOTING OR SHOTS FIRED IN ANY OF THE CITIES THAT WE HAVE EVACUATED. I CAN TELL YOU THAT I’VE SPOKEN TO CHIEF BILL LAGRONE FROM THE OROVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND HE ASSURES ME THERE IS NO LOOTING GOING ON IN THE CITY OF OROVILLE. WE THINK THAT THE RUMOR ABOUT THAT PROBABLY STEMS BACK FROM THE FACT THAT NEAR THE BEGINNING OF THIS INCIDENT WHEN WE BEGAN TO TALK ABOUT EVACUATIONS AN INDIVIDUAL BROKE INTO A BUSINESS. THAT IS, THERE’S NO INDICATION THAT THAT CRIMINAL ACT WAS MOTIVATED BY ANYTHING RELATED TO THIS PARTICULAR INCIDENT. I’VE ALSO SPOKE TO THE CHIEF, CHIEF MIKE O’BRIEN OF THE CHICO POLICE DEPARTMENT. HE ASSURES ME THERE IS NO RIOTING OR LOOTING OR ANYTHING OF THAT NATURE GOING ON IN CHICO. HE HAS PLENTY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN THE CITY OF CHICO TO ENSURE THAT THE PEACE IS BEING KEPT. I THINK THAT ANYTIME YOU TAKE ON A SITUATION LIKE THIS WHERE YOU SEEK TO EVACUATE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ON VERY SHORT NOTICE, IT CAN BE A CHAOTIC SITUATION, AND WE UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT BASED ON THE REPORTS THAT I’VE BEEN RECEIVING TO THIS POINT THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING FAIRLY WELL, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT HOW CHAOTIC AND DIFFICULT THIS SITUATION IS TO BEGIN WITH. I THINK I’LL TAKE AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVITE CHIEF O’BRIEN UP TO TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN CHICO IN TERMS OF THE EVACUATION CENTERS. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF THEM OPEN. BUT AT THIS POINT, OUR EVACUATIONS ARE CONTINUING, AND WE’RE MOVING INTO A SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES, LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES PATROLLING THE VARIOUS AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN EVACUATED TO ENSURE THAT THE COMMUNITY IS SAFE, AND THAT THOSE PLACES ARE SECURE. CHIEF. THANK YOU, SHERIFF. AS WAS MENTIONED MY NAME IS MIKE O’BRIEN. I’M THE CHIEF OF POLICE IN THE CITY OF CHICO AND I DO WANT TO PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON THE SHELTER SITUATION. NOT ONLY IN CHICO, BUT ELSEWHERE IN BUTTE COUNTY. SO RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE SHELTERS OPEN IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS. AT CAMELOT IN PARADISE, 1985 CLARK ROAD. THE SILVER DOLLAR FAIR GROUNDS IN CHICO IS AT CAPACITY. SO WE’RE NOT TAKING ANY MORE EVACUEES THERE. THE CMA PARADISE ALLIANCE CHURCH IS OPEN. AND THAT’S ON CLARK ROAD, 6491 CLARK ROAD IN PARADISE. THE ELKS LODGE IN PARADISE IS ALSO OPEN. THAT’S 1100 ELK LANE. THAT’S OFF OF CLARK ROAD. THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHURCH IN CHICO, 2801 NOTRE DAME BOULEVARD IS ALSO OPEN FOR EVACUEES. THE GLEN COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS IN GLEN COUNTY IS ALSO OPEN. THE ST. JOHN’S CHURCH IN CHICO. 2341 FLORAL AVENUE. ALSO OPEN AS WELL AS THE VFW IN PARADISE, OPEN FOR EVACUEES AS WELL. THIS IS A FLUID SITUATION, OBVIOUSLY. AND IF WE NEED TO OPEN UP ADDITIONAL SHELTERS, THAT WILL OCCUR. THAT’S BEING EVALUATED, AND I WILL PROVIDE THAT, OR WE WILL PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE, OR NECESSARY. MOST OF THE HOTELS IN CHICO ARE FULL. NOT ALL, SO IF THERE’S ANYONE THAT WANTS TO TRY TO GET INTO A HOTEL I WOULD SUGGEST MAKING A PHONE CALL, BUT MOST OF THE MAJOR HOTELS RIGHT NOW IN CHICO ARE FULL. THANK YOU, CHIEF. WE’RE ALSO AWARE OF THE FACT THAT ANYTIME YOU TRY TO EVACUATE A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, THAT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS WITH THE ROADWAYS. TRAFFIC ISSUES. SO I HAVE LIEUTENANT MARK STOKES, COMMANDER OF THE OROVILLE AREA OFFICE AND CHP TO COME UP AND GIVE US SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THAT. THANK YOU. YEAH, MARK STOKES WITH THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL. I’M THE COMMANDER OF THE OROVILLE CHP AREA. TO GIVE YOU A QUICK REPORT ON CONDITIONS AS FAR AS THE ROADWAYS AND THE CLOSURES THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE, AS WE HAVE A NUMBER OF THEM. I’LL JUST START AT THE TOP. WE HAVE A CLOSURE AT STATE ROUTE 99 AT 149 PREVENTING TRAFFIC FROM COMING SOUTH. WE HAVE A CLOSURE AT SR70 AT 191. WE HAVE A CLOSURE ON THE 70 AT 149. WE ALSO HAVE A CLOSURE ON 99 IN MARYSVILLE AREA, AND SUTTER AREA. 99 AT 20th, AND AGAIN, ON THE SOUTH END, WE ALSO HAVE ANOTHER CLOSURE AT THE 70, AND 18th STREET. AND ANOTHER ONE ON 70 AND WOODRUFF, ON WOODRUFF TO PREVENT TRAFFIC FROM COMING IN THE EAST AND CONTINUING NORTH. AS FAR AS OUR EXIT ROUTE, STILL ENCOURAGING TRAFFIC, AND PEOPLE THAT ARE LEAVING THE AREA TO CONTINUE UP EITHER NORTH ON 99 OR ON THE 70 TO ESCAPE THE AREA. THANK YOU. SO SOME DEVELOPMENTS THAT HAVE OCCURRED SINCE WE LAST TALKED AT 9:00. YOU MAY HAVE GOTTEN THIS INFORMATION BUT, AND I THINK THIS WAS COVERED BY CHIEF LAWSON. ONE OF THE SIGNIFICANT THINGS THAT HAS HAPPENED AND I’M THANKFUL FOR IS THE EFFORTS BY DWR TO LOWER THE LAKE LEVEL BY UTILIZING THE SPILL WAY TO REDUCE THE WATER HAS BEEN EFFECTIVE. AND NOW THERE’S NO MORE WATER GOING OVER THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. THAT IS A VERY POSITIVE THING AT THIS POINT. BUT AS YOU ALSO HEARD, ALTHOUGH IT BRINGS SOME STABILITY TO THE SITUATION, THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF UNKNOWNS. WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO LOWER THE LAKE LEVEL AND WE NEED TO GIVE THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES TIME TO THOROUGHLY EVALUATE THE SITUATION SO THAT WE CAN MAKE SOME DECISIONS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT IT IS SAFE TO REPOPULATE AREAS. I CAN TELL YOU THAT WE HAVE STAFF LOOKING AT THE VARIOUS AREAS THAT EVACUATIONS HAVE BEEN ORDERED IN, AND MAKING A DETERMINATION BASED ON WEATHER ANALYSIS AS TO WHAT AREAS ARE CLEARLY IN DANGER AND WHAT AREAS MAY BE LESS VULNERABLE. BUT THAT ANALYSIS STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE, AND SO WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE IN OUR CURRENT STATUS UNTIL WE HAVE SOME BETTER INFORMATION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT IT IS SAFE TO BRING PEOPLE BACK IN. WITH THAT, I’D LIKE TO INVITE DIRECTOR BILL KREL UP FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES TO GIVE US, HE’S A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT IN THIS, AND I THINK HE CAN BEGIN US A BETTER IDEA WHAT THE CURRENT STATUS IS IN REGARD TO THE DAMAGE AND THE SPILL. THANK YOU, SHERIFF. AGAIN, MY NAME IS BILL KROYL. SO TONIGHT, TO CONFIRM, THE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE CLARK CONTROL STRUCTURE INCREASING THE FLOW FROM 55,000-ACRE OF FEET PER SECOND UP TO 100,000- ACRE OF FEET ALLOWED. THE DEPARTMENT TO WITHDRAW MORE WATER FASTER SO WE CAN TAKE THE HEAD OFF THE TOP OF THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. THE IDEA BEHIND THAT STRATEGY WAS TO REDUCE THE EROSION, AND STOP THE EROSION. ALTHOUGH NOW THAT SITE IS STARTING TO DE-WATER AND DRAIN OUT. WITH THE BUTTE RESOURCES, OF THE BUTTE COUNTY SHERIFF, WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO GO OUT, PUT OUR GEOTECH ENGINEERS IN THE AIR, AND VISUALLY INSPECT THAT TONIGHT. WE HAVE SOME THINGS THAT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GET BACK IN, IN THE MORNING, AND ADDRESS THOSE MORE SPECIFICALLY ON THE GROUND, AGAIN WITH OUR RESOURCES. WE HAVE DEVELOPED OUR CONTINGENCY PLANS, AND WE’RE FLYING THOSE AS SOON AS WE CAN GET OUT WITH FIRST LIGHT, AND LOOK AT OUR STRATEGY. SO RESOURCES ARE BEING BROUGHT INTO THE AREA TO ADDRESS THIS CONCERN. WITH THE, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE’RE REALLY SENSITIVE TO IS THE CONDITION OF THE EXISTING, BUT DAMAGED FLIGHT CONTROL STRUCTURE THAT WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS WEEK IN OUR UNIFIED COMMAND STRUCTURE WITH A NUMBER OF AGENCIES AND EXPERTS THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT IN TO ADDRESS THE ASSESSMENT, THE MONITORING, AND VALUATION OF OUR CURRENT CONDITIONS, AND ALLOWING US TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE THINGS COMING UP. ONE OF THE THINGS IS WE NEED TO EVACUATE SOME OF THE WATER, SO WE CAN GET READY FOR THE INCOMING STORMS. RIGHT NOW, THE INFLOW TO THE RESERVOIR IS 40,000 CFS. WE’RE DISCHARGING 100,000 CFS. SO WE’RE MAKING ADDITIONAL FLIGHT CONTROL STORAGE. WE NEED TO DO THAT FOR A LENGTH OF TIME SO WE CAN MAKE ROOM FOR THE ANTICIPATED STORM HERE LATER THIS WEEK. IF WE CAN KEEP THIS DISCHARGE RATE UP, AND NOT COMPROMISE THE FLIGHT CONTROL STRUCTURE, THEN WE’RE GOING TO DO IT. IF WE CAN DO THAT FOR A DAY, WE CAN MOVE OUT ABOUT 1.2 MILLION- ACRE FEET OF WATER, SO WE NEED TO GET TOWN AS INDICATED EARLIER, ALMOST 50 FEET TO GET AT A LEVEL THAT WE WOULD NORMALLY OPERATE THIS RESERVOIR TO, GIVING THIS KIND OF A YEAR WITH THE SNOWPACK, AND OUR CURRENT INFLOW CONDITIONS. ONE THING I MIGHT MENTION, THIS IS A VERY WET YEAR, WE’RE VERY AWARE OF OUR SNOWPACK AND OUR HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE LOOKING AT EVERYTHING WHETHER IT’S HYDROLOGIC, OR WEATHER FORECASTS AND OUR CONDITION OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE TO MAKE SURE WE’RE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT OPERATES, AND PROTECTS THE PUBLIC. I THINK WITH OUR MULTI-AGENCY APPROACH THAT WE’VE TAKEN HERE, WE’RE DOING THAT. I THINK TODAY WAS AN EXAMPLE, THAT IT WAS A TOUGH CALL TO MAKE, IT WAS THE RIGHT CALL TO MAKE TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC. AS I TOLD YOU EARLIER, WE HAVE HAD THE COMMITMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL RESOURCES FROM BOTH STATE AND LOCAL PARTNERS. I’VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VERSE WITH THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES THIS EVENING. THEY’VE COMMITTED THEIR RESOURCES, AND WE HAVE CHIEF SEDERA FROM OFS. CHIEF, I WOULD INVITE YOU UP, IF YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US WHAT RESOURCES WE HAVE COMING. GOOD EVENING. THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES. I THINK THE SHERIFF HAS VERY ELOQUENTLY IDENTIFIED THAT WE’VE ALL BEEN WORKING TOGETHER. THE WHOLE STATE, FEDERAL, INCLUDING TRIBAL AGENCIES THAT ARE INVOLVED. CURRENTLY, AS AN EXAMPLE, THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY HERE IN THE COUNTY AND THE SURROUNDING COUNTIES OF A BETTER PART OF 250 LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE STATE EITHER ON-SCENE, OR CURRENTLY IN ROUTE TO ASSIST WITH THEIR EFFORTS OF SECURITY. AND KEEPING THINGS SAFE FOR US AS WELL AS THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE EVACUATED. WE’RE ALSO WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH THE FIRE AGENCIES IN THE AREA. THE EXAMPLE IS, BUTTE COUNTY HAS REQUESTED THE USE OF 13 TYPE 1 WATER TEAMS THAT ARE CURRENTLY IN ROUTE HERE. THERE IS ADDITIONAL ENGINE STRIKE TEAMS THAT WILL ASSIST AS WELL. I THINK THE CAL FIRE INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM IS HERE, DIRECTLY ASSISTING DWR WITH THIS INCIDENT. THERE IS ANOTHER INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM THAT’S ALSO GOING TO BE DEPLOYING TO BUTTE COUNTY TO ASSIST THEM, AND WILL CONTINUE TO EVALUATE THE SITUATION, NOT ONLY IN BUTTE COUNTY, BUT THE SURROUNDING COUNTIES. ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE, THERE ARE OTHER PLACES IN THE STATE THAT ARE DEALING WITH OTHER WATER, AS WELL AS SNOW ISSUES. AND THE ENTIRE RESOURCES TO LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL LEVEL ARE ALL WORKING CLOSELY TOGETHER TO MAKE THINGS SAFE AND AS SECURE AS POSSIBLE. WE’D ALSO LIKE TO THANK THE RED CROSS FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE AS WELL. WITH THAT, I’LL TURN IT BACK OVER TO THE SHERIFF. THANK YOU. THANK YOU CHIEF, I APPRECIATE THAT. SO FOLKS, AS YOU CAN TELL, WE’RE STILL QUITE ONTO THIS SITUATION. THERE’S STILL A LOT OF INFORMATION TO BE GATHERED, ANALYSIS TO BE CONDUCTED. WE ARE CERTAINLY DOING OUR BEST TO GET THAT INFORMATION GATHERED, ANALYZED, AND THEN DISSEMINATED IN A TIMELY FASHION. I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE YOUR COOPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING AND PATIENCE IN THIS PARTICULAR TIME. VERY THANKFUL TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF A LOT OF AGENCIES, AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN THIS REALLY DIFFICULT TIME. I RECOGNIZE HOW TOUGH THIS SITUATION IS ON PEOPLE. I RECOGNIZE THAT WE’VE HAD TO DISPLACE A LOT OF PEOPLE, BUT AS YOU’VE HEARD TONIGHT, WE NEEDED TO DO THAT TO ENSURE THE PUBLIC SAFETY AND THAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. THAT’S THE THING THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON GOING FORWARD. I GUESS AT THIS POINT, WE’LL TAKE SOME QUESTIONS. CAN YOU GIVE AN UPDATE ON THE EROSION OF THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY [INAUDIBLE] WELL, I THINK THAT I WOULD PROBABLY BETTER DEFER THAT TO MR. KROYL, BECAUSE THAT IS HIS WHEEL HOUSE. THANK YOU, SHERIFF. AGAIN WITH THE, NOW THAT WE’RE ABLE TO STOP THE WATER FLOWING OVER THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY, THAT STOPS THE EROSION, SO AGAIN, WE’RE IN THE PROCESS OF HAVING ANALYSIS. WE NEED FIRST LIGHT TO EVALUATE THE INFORMATION WE HAVE. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF REGULATORIES, AS WELL AS SOME OF OUR TECHNICAL EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS THAT WE’VE BROUGHT IN TO ADDRESS AS THESE THINGS COME UP. THE WHOLE SPILL WAY SHOWED UP THIS LAST TUESDAY. IT’S GOING TO TAKE US A LITTLE TIME TO PROCESS THAT, THERE’S DIFFERENT STRATEGIES WE’RE LOOKING AT, BUT TO GET THOSE DETAILED STRATEGIES, AND TO PUT THEM DOWN, WE ARE MAKING SURE WE HAVE THOSE ASSETS ON SIGHT TO MAKE SURE WE CAN IMPLEMENT THOSE STRATEGIES, AS SOON AS WE CAN AGREE WHAT THOSE ARE, AND IMPLEMENT IT. HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU ABLE TO CONTROL 1.2-ACRE FEET OUT A DAY. YOU MUST BE DOING A TON OF DAMAGE TO THAT SPILL WAY. IS THAT FEASIBLE? WELL, IT’S A DYNAMIC SITUATION. THAT ALSO DEPENDS ON THE INFLOW TO THE RIVER. IF IT STAYS NICE AND DRY, WE CAN KEEP THE FLOW RATES UP. WE KIND OF HAVE A BIGGER DEALTA, OR WE CAN REMOVE MORE WATER FROM THE RESERVOIR. THE KEY IS HERE, WITH SOME DRIER WEATHER, OR SOME COOLER WEATHER TO KEEP THOSE INFLOWS DOWN, WHILE WE RELEASE, OR DISCHARGE AS MUCH AS WE CAN AT THE, WHERE THE KEY HERE, IS AGAIN, WE WANT TO MAINTAIN THIS SYSTEM AT A RATE THAT DOESN’T FURTHER DEGRADE THE INFROM A HAVE YOU THAT WE — INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WE HAVE. WE’RE IN THIS THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND, BUT WE’RE ALSO IN THIS THROUGHOUT THE WET SEASON. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE MAINTAIN THE RESOURCES WE HAVE, INCLUDING THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. WE WANT TO ASSESS IT, IMPLEMENT OUR CONTROL STRATEGIES, CONTINUE TO MONITOR IT, AND IF NECESSARY, WE’LL HAVE TO USE IT AGAIN. THE IDEA HERE IS WE’LL CONTINUE TO TRY TO DIG INTO THAT RESERVOIR, REMOVE THAT WATER, AND SO THAT WE CAN ANTICIPATE SOME OF THOSE HIGHER FLOWS THAT MIGHT COME WITH THE SPRING RUNOFF. SO IF WE CAN STAY UP WITH THIS 100,000 CFS, WE MIGHT HAVE TO ADJUST IT UP AND DOWN. WE MIGHT HAVE TO ADDRESS IT SIGNIFICANTLY. OUR GOAL IS TO KEEP THOSE DISCHARGES UP AS HIGH AS WE CAN. IF WE BELIEVE OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS IN TACT, AND CAN TAKE SOME ADDITIONAL FLOW, WE’RE GOING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT, BASED ON OUR MONITORING, AND OUR TECHNICAL ASSESSMENTS. SO AGAIN, IT’S A DYNAMIC SITUATION. WE’RE ALL MAKING DECISIONS ON THE BEST AVAILABLE INFORMATION. WE’LL CONTINUE OUR BRIEFING TO THE COMMUNITY AND AROUND THE STATE. IT IS OUR WET SEASON THROUGHOUT THE STATE AS INDICATED. SO THE RESOURCES THAT THE STATE OPERATION CENTER, AGAIN, THEY’VE ACTUALLY BEEN PRETTY BUSY HERE FOR THIS LAST STORM. SO THIS IS ONE OF THE MANY THINGS THAT WE’RE ALL DEALING WITH. THE KEY FOR US IS TO MAINTAIN THOSE HIGH RELEASES. DO THAT WITHIN THE FLIGHT CONTROL CHANNEL. THE QUESTION WASN’T ASKED, BUT THIS FLOW THAT WE HAVE, ABOUT 100,000 CFS RIGHT NOW IS TYPICAL FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. WE GET A BIG INFLOW. WE BUMP THOSE UP. IT’S IN THE RECORDING AND PUBLIC NOTIFICATION PROCESS. THE CHANNEL AREA IS ABOUT 150,000 PLUS CFS. WE DON’T LIKE TO PRESS IT TO THE EDGE IF WE DON’T HAVE TO. BUT IN 1997, WE DISCHARGED 150,000 CFS THROUGH THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. SO AGAIN, THAT CAME UP PRETTY CLOSE. THE HIGH END OF THE SYSTEM. THERE WAS FLOODING IN AND AROUND THE VALLEY, BUT WE DID PASS THE WATER THROUGH THIS REGION WITHOUT TOO MUCH TROUBLE. IF WE KEEP THOSE FLOWS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 75, 100, 130CFS, OR 1,000 CFS, THEN THE FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEM OF THIS REGION WILL WORK. WHEN WE GO TO WORKING WITH THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY, THAT GIVES US A LITTLE MORE CONCERN. NORMALLY IN A FLOOD CONTROL RESERVOIR SEASON, WE HAVE THIS FLOOD STORAGE CAPACITY, WHICH IS KIND OF A BUFFER, AND THAT ADDS A FACTOR OF SAFETY, SO THAT’S WHAT WE’RE WORKING TO IMPROVE RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE A LOT OF SET. HAVE YOU DISCUSSED THAT EARLIER? THAT CUT THAT YOU DISCOVERED EARLIER TODAY, ARE YOU STILL SEALING THAT WITH BACKS OF ROCKS? THE EROSION SCAR THAT CAME UP LATE THIS AFTERNOON, WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO ACCESS THAT. WE’VE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO ACCESS IT FROM THE AIR, WITH THE RESOURCES OF BUTTE COUNTY. AGAIN, LOOKING AT THE ASSESSMENT, GETTING THE WATER UP, SO WE HAVE NOT PHYSICALLY DONE ANY CORRECTIVE MEASURES ADJACENT TO THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. SO YOU HAVE NOT BEEN DROPPING ROCKS IN? WE HAVE NOT BEEN DROPPING ROCKS. [INAUDIBLE] WELL, THERE’S STILL UP AGAINST THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. SO WE WENT AGAIN IN MAKING SURE THAT THIS EROSION SPUR HAPPENED FOR A REASON, SO WE WANT TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THAT. AGAIN, THIS IS, THIS PART OF THE FACILITY HAS NEVER BEEN USED BEFORE. IT’S DESIGNED TO TAKE WHAT WE CALL MAXIMUM CREDIBLE FLOOD. ALMOST 750,000 CFS IS THE CROSS SECTION, THAT THAT PARTICULAR PART OF THE DAM SYSTEM, SO IT’S NOT THE DAM, BUT PART OF THE DAM SYSTEM, SO THE IDEA BEHIND THAT REALLY BEING ABLE TO TAKE A HUGE AMOUNT OF WATER IS THAT KIND OF MEGAFLOOD. BUT IT PRESERVES, IT’S DESIGNED TO TAKE A LOT OF WATER DOWN TO THE SYSTEM. OBVIOUSLY WITH THOSE FLOW RATES, YOU’RE GOING TO DESTROY MUCH OF THE CENTRAL VALLEY, BUT THE DAM ITSELF WILL STILL REMAIN IN TACT, RIGHT. SO THE INTEGRITY OF THE DAM IS NOT IMPACTED BY THE DAMAGE TO THE SPILL ITSELF, OR YOU KNOW, THE USE, OR IN THIS CASE, THIS EROSION THAT’S OCCURRED AND THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. RIGHT, AND SO THE DAM IS SOLID. THE CONTROL STRUCTURE HAS BEEN DAMAGED. WE’RE WORKING TO ASSESS THAT, AND WE’RE ALREADY WORKING ON THE RESIGN AND THE RECOVERY OF THAT SYSTEM BEFORE NEXT YEAR. BUT RIGHT NOW, WE HAD SOME WET WEATHER. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE SOME MORE WET WEATHER AND THE IDEA IS TO MANAGE OUR RESOURCES, YOU KNOW, OUR PHYSICAL RESOURCES, AND MANAGING THOSE FLOOD FLOWS HERE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS. WE WANT TO GO BACK IN, COMPLETE OUR ASSESSMENTS, DO THOSE CORRECTIVE MEASURES ON THAT EMERGENCY SPILL WAY, GET IT READY FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR A FUTURE USE HERE IN THE COMING WEEKS OR MONTHS. IS REDUCING THE LAKE LEVEL BY 50 FEET AS I BELIEVE THE INCIDENT COMMANDER SAID, IS THAT 1.2 MILLION-ACRE FEET? NO, IT’S A LITTLE OVER 500,000-ACRE FEET OF WATER. CRANKED UP TO 150,000 CFS EARLIER IN THE WEEK, WOULD WE BE IN THIS SITUATION NOW? THE EVENTS STARTING LAST TUESDAYS THAT THROWN A LOT OF CURVES AT AGAIN THE GROUP, THE VARIOUS AGENCIES THAT ARE WORKING ON THIS. AND SO, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, ONCE YOU HAVE A DAMAGE TO THE STRUCTURE LIKE THAT, YOU KNOW, IT’S CATASTROPHIC. SO PART OF THAT IS WHAT CAN WE DO IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. WE DETERMINED THAT WE CANNOT FIX THE HOLE. IT WAS 250 FEET LONG. 170FEET WIDE, AND ALMOST 40 TO 50 FEET DEEP. YOU DON’T JUST THROW A LITTLE ROCK IN IT, AND THEN WITH A FEW HOURS LATER, WANT TO THROW 50, 60,000 CUBIC FEET A SECOND AT IT. ONCE WE LOOKED AT THE MATH AND LOOKED AT OUR AVAILABLE RESOURCES, AND HOW LONG WE WOULD NEED TO KEEP THE CHUTE DRY TO GET IT FIXED, IT WAS REALIZED WE COULDN’T REPAIR IT. WE KNEW, AND I THINK I’VE BEEN MESSAGING SINCE TUESDAY NIGHT, THAT WE’RE GOING TO SEE NEW DAMAGE. WHAT YOU SEE TODAY MIGHT NOT BE WHAT YOU SEE TOMORROW, THAT WAS EARLIER THIS WEEK. THIS LAST 24, 36 HOURS, THIS SITE HAD STABILIZED. YOU KNOW, SO THE EROSION DOWN STREAM OF THE SPILL WAY HAS KIND OF STABILIZED. THERE ARE SOME THINGS WE’RE WORKING ON, AND IMPLEMENT. BUT WE HAD SOME HYDROLOGY COME IN, A LITTLE WEATHER, AND THE STORM SYSTEM PARKED OVER THIS REGION OF CALIFORNIA. SO WE HAD A FORECAST, WE’RE OPERATING TO THAT FORECAST, AND IT CAME IN A LITTLE WETTER, SO WE TOOK SOME WATER OVER THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. WE’RE GLAD IT’S THERE, BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY DIFFICULT TO BE ABLE TO PASS THAT WATER WITHOUT KNOWING MORE ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE DOWN STREAM. BECAUSE OUR GOAL IS TO BE ABLE TO USE THAT INFRASTRUCTURE THROUGHOUT THIS WET SEASON. WE DON’T WANT TO PUT TOO MUCH WATER DOWN AT ANY GIVEN TIME, AGAIN, SO WE WANT TO MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF THAT SYSTEM. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THERE IS FURTHER EROSION TO THE MAIN SPILL WAY, OR THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY? AGAIN, WE’RE GOING TO ROLL AND MITIGATE THOSE MEASURES AS WE SEE THAT. IF THERE’S ADDITIONAL EROSION, OR ON THE SPILL WAY ITSELF, AGAIN, WE’LL REDUCE THE FLOW ASSESS. WE’RE ALREADY DEVELOPING ADDITIONAL CONTINGENCY MEASURES TO REDUCE TO THE EXTENT THAT WE WANT TO, OR HALF TO, JUMP OFF THE SPILL WAY. IMPLEMENT THAT CORRECTIVE MEASURE TO PROTECT REALLY THE END OF THAT SPILL WAY WHERE THE WATERFALLS OFF, AND KIND OF SHOOTS OFF, AND GOES DOWN STREAM. SO WE HAVE DEVELOPED THAT STRATEGY, AND SOON WE’LL HAVE THOSE MATERIALS ON SITE SHOULD WE DECIDE THAT WE WANT TO DEPLOY THAT. IN WHAT WAY? THEY’RE DESIGNING. ESSENTIALLY, THERE’S DIFFERENT WAYS TO DESIGN THE LIP AND THE PRESSURES ON THE END OF THAT LIP, SO YOU DON’T CONTINUE TO HAVE CONCRETE COMING OFF. SO THE GOAL IS TO REALLY AGAIN MANAGE THAT SYSTEM WITH FLOW, AND MITIGATION MEASURES SO WE CAN GO ON WITH USING THAT FACILITY THE REST OF THE WET SEASON. WITH CAN HE DO THAT — CAN WE DO THAT? CAN WE TAKE A PAUSE HOW MUCH YOU’RE MOVING OUT? THAT’S THE KEY, THE DECISION TO STAY UP AT 100,000. THE SYSTEM IS BEING HIGHLY MONITORED, AND IT’S STABLE RIGHT NOW, SO WE’RE GOING TO DIG A HOLE IN THIS RESERVOIR, SO THAT IF WE CHOOSE TO, AND FEEL LIKE IT’S NECESSARY TO INSTALL THAT CORRECTIVE MEASURE, THEN WE HAVE TIME TO DO THAT. WE CAN TURN IT OFF, INSTALL THE MEASURE, TURN IT BACK UP. SO THE BELIEF THAT AT 100,000 IS NOT SEEING MUCH MORE EROSION? AT THIS TIME, THAT’S TRUE. EXCUSE ME. MY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PARTNERS ARE AT A POINT NOW WHERE WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO GET BACK TO WORK AND CONTINUE TO TRY TO MITIGATE THIS INCIDENT. MANY OF US WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR COMMENTS POST-MEETING, BUT WE WON’T BE ABLE TO TAKE ANY MORE QUESTIONS AT THIS POINT. IF YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW AT THIS POINT, HOW LONG IT’S GOING TO TAKE TO HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION [INAUDIBLE] I DON’T, TERRY. IT’S STILL A LOT OF UNKNOWNS. WE’RE STILL RELATIVELY EARLY IN THE SITUATION. AND WE NEED TO GIVE THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT IS TRANSPIRED WITH THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE KEEP THE LEVEL OF THE LAKE LOW ENOUGH SO THAT WE DON’T HAVE TO UTILIZE THE EMERGENCY SPILL WAY UNTIL WE HAVE A BETTER IDEA. BUT AS I SAID EARLIER, PUBLIC SAFETY IS MY NUMBER 1 CONCERN AND ENSURING THE SAFETY OF 1,000 PEOPLE, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, WAS CRITICAL. I’M NOT GOING TO LIFT THE

37 thoughts on “Officials update the situation at the Oroville Dam

  1. Water takes on a force of its own when gravity is involved. Siphoning gas/water in a fish tank confirms that the water may all go onto emergency spill way due to current.

  2. He laughed after saying "it may destroy the central valley but the dam will be solid." Everyone of you are failures. Many recommended evacuations 2-3 days ago. 71 degrees on Wed. Two storm fronts. You people should be sued.

  3. the spillway should have been rebuilt years ago its been patched if i remember 3 times befor after the 2 time if that was done this wouldn't have happened . something like the dams and things like that should be checked around every 6 months or so. the reason why its doing to cost so much mony know is because of laziness in my eyes

  4. It's amazing how they are downplaying such a critical and possibly frightening situation as a possible major dam failure/breakage. If so it be unpresedented to say the least. This is the result of the failure and promises of maintaining our public roads, bridges, levys, beaches and dams. Our countries public infrastructure that we pay high tolls or maintenance taxes for. Aged and decrepit roads that mostly are patched up and not refurbished. Government, politicians and elected public officials will just tell you what they want you to hear. Not necessarily what you should hear. The government will tell you on a "need to know basis". If and when they "feel" you should know, they will make the decision if "they" will let you know. Remember New Orleans and hurricane Katrina? Heard about global warming, Ft. Lauderdale beach Florida and the thing called King Tides? The beaches are in fact disappearing no matter what they want you to believe. They word things to pacify us as if to not panic us yet its you that will be the casualty as an end result should they get it wrong. Let's pray the water pumps don't overheat and this becomes Americas version of a tsunami for those residents so nearby.

  5. msm is not saying anything about this all they are doing is bashing Trump this is not in there interest.

  6. They will blame Trump for this. As if its his fault. This isnt due to laziness. Maybe corruption. The state has been hit with more rain in the last month than its had in the last few years combined. That undermines and weakens ground on hills or under pressure. This dam, like all other california dams right now, are full to capacity because of the massive rainfall. Everybody wants to be an expert and point the finger. Or my favorite, wish the poor people affected to experience hardship worse than they already are! What a "GREAT" COUNTRY! Trump can be great. But America is only as great as its people. Not very great.

  7. When will the 380,000 people be able to go back to there homes, Heavy rains next week heavy snow in mountains spring run off and dam is not safe what to do?

  8. hmmm, for a "liberal" state, all I see are white, males in charge of this deal.
    Q: if they knew the concrete spillway might erode and fail, why didn't they use huge steel pipes – all in parallel – from the dam down to the river?

  9. God's judgement on this state. I just hope there is no earthquake at the same time. Other than the Hollywood goof balls most Californians are sick and tired of their liberal officials.

  10. There's no way they can lower the water by 50 feet. That isn't going to happen. Every day the area of flooding and waterfalls and erosion is much worse. And it will rain this week for a week. Water is the most destructive force on the face of the Earth. Momentum will compound the effects of the erosion.

  11. I guess the water will flow down the valley to the city of Yuba. It would be nice to show a map, projected path

  12. if it does fail what will happen to the Officers and Security teams who are in the City ?God please protect them ! in Jesus' shame Amen !

  13. What I am finding hard to understand is, Why does the evacuation order be executed and no law enforcement is placed miles ahead of the 4 lane highway to stop opposing traffic? That action would allow 4 lanes in the evacuation direction. Get the traffic and families out of harms way and sort it out miles down the road…Just sayin'…

  14. Would having residents that get their water from the reservoir turn their water on at their homes & let it drain, put a dent in what needs drained from the lake?

  15. They seem to be doing a good job. I don't think anything will happen. The evacuation was precautionary. But what they need to do is spend more on maintenance. This was a wake up call.

  16. Liberal Criminal Negligence! Billions for ILLEGALS. ZERO for Dams, Rivers, reservoirs and Waterways.

  17. I hope whooooping sirens are being played to get everyone out of the way of a MAJOR DAMN BURST.

  18. The Cal Fire guy seems to have a good grasp of the situation, I'm glad the CDF is the lead agency. The DWR guys should go back to their coffee break room.

  19. What brain dead Liberal let it fill to over capacity before they opened the spill way ?

  20. Quick question…. Do some people actually get their rocks off going from one YouTube channel to another… clicking thumbs-down? Seriously… Right now three people are going, "Oh yeah baby, it makes me so hot!" 😛

  21. Nothing gets more money out of the government than a "good" emergency. They knew of the hole in the spillway before the rains came. Now they get lots of overtime on top of lavish salaries while the public suffers from their failures.
    The only bigger idiots are those that think their imaginary little friend will save them from catastrophe.

  22. Oooops…the patch didn't work. Back to the drawing board! In CA lives depend on this dam. Trillions of dollars of property and possessions and innocent people children, livestock, pets and wildlife. And an engineer patches a little damaged contrete pot hole that "looked ok to him" when done. What did they use? Roof cement and a putty knife? Do these people really think that the patch method is justified with a state that's swill in the USA last I checked who is worried about cows farting?

  23. Gonna throw my 2 cents at this DAM problem.
    If I were them, I'd be cutting in 8 roads to that gaping and growing hole and be using trucks to dump rock in it.
    4 roads on each side, dumping huge rocks constantly!
    This concept of helicopters is very expensive and they are gonna need way more volume to get to their end goal.
    Plus, they need to stop breaking down these large rocks as the water pressure will just blow em out.
    That's in part why truck have to be brought in.

  24. Local military (?) support in Oroville told locals they are preparing evac support in Murcett for Sacramento.

  25. I feel sorry for the people, whom do the right things.. Pay their Bills and trust that all the taxes they pay, is really going for what it is SUPPOSE too.
    The livestock, PEOPLES PETS, homes, cars, the list is ENDLESS !!!
    It is rich, that OLE Jerry Brown, is begging, POTUS DONALD TRUMP for help !!!
    Where are all the TRUMP haters at now?
    Get all those so called **" actors & music people"** to help…!!! They sure used the platforms when it was to talk crap, now there is a very real dangerous situation brewing… Hate saying this, but, Jerry needs to go ! God Bless you all, help each other out. Pull together, put aside petty crap, & prayers, be with you ALL…..

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