– So that’s it folks. That is
the Lake Oroville spillway, and that’s what 35,000 cubic feet of water coming over the spillway looks
like. And believe it or not, that is just a fraction
of what came down in 1997. Back then, it was over
100,000 cubic feet per second. That raging torrent is intentional. (water rushing) The Department of Water
Resources continues to release water out of Lake Oroville, despite massive damage
being caused by erosion. – I guess it’s sort of a triage situation. They know it’s causing
damage, but it’s not beyond what they deem as being safe. – [Shawn] Eric See, spokesperson for DWR, says a hole in the
spillway estimated to be at least 200 feet long and 30 feet deep is not a cause for alarm. – It’s like getting a dent in your car. That doesn’t mean the car doesn’t run. It may not look very nice.
– [Shawn] But it is an issue they’re working on with urgency. Record rain continues to pour, sending water into Lake Oroville at a rate of 118,000
cubic feet per second. That’s more water going into
the lake than being sent out, so they need to keep releases going. So an incident command
post has been set up at DWR headquarters in Butte County. – They’re doing a lotta work
to determine the next steps and processes for the
actual dam situation. – [Shawn] Ron Quigley,
a deputy administrator with the governor’s Office
of Emergency Services, is here with several other
Cal OES representatives, all on hand to monitor the situation, coordinate communication, and
offer assistance when needed. – It’s always good to be face-to-face, and be a body in the room
to coordinate and support. – [Shawn] Oroville Dam opened in 1968, creating the reservoir and using its water to generate power. DWR says it was designed
with two spillways: this one and another emergency
spillway you can’t see. It was also designed to handle water coming over the top of the lake. (water rushing) But for now, the spillway
is doing its job. Although the hole beneath that flow is sending water over the edge and taking much of the
surrounding terrain with it. (water rushing) At least one media outlet
erroneously reported the spillway had completely collapsed. That’s a rumor DWR and every emergency
responder is dispelling. – We have dam safety engineers up there. We have geologists. We have
spillway design engineers. They’re looking at it right now,
and constantly monitoring it, and watching the erosion. – [Shawn] So there you have it.
You’re looking at it, folks. The Lake Oroville spillway has not had a catastrophic failure. So if you happen to get
one of those messages coming over your phone, whether it be through
social media or anything… it’s a rumor. Has not happened. You can see it right there. I’m Shawn Boyd out here at Lake Oroville for Cal OES News.

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