NON-BREAKING PROGRESS UPDATES RE: Oroville Dam

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Chilidog
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NON-BREAKING PROGRESS UPDATES RE: Oroville Dam

#1

Post by Chilidog » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:24 pm

A major hole in a spillway at Oriville. Ca forces the evacuation of thousands of residents

The video is scary.

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#2

Post by Azastan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:34 pm

The DAM is NOT failing. It's bad enough as it is, but please do not think that Oroville Dam itself is failing.

My husband's mother has been evacuated already from Marysville.

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#3

Post by kate520 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:38 pm

The emergency spillway is about to blow.
"This is not a Drill. Repeat this is not a drill,” the National Weather Service said Sunday, urging people living below Oroville Dam to evacuate. The evacuation was ordered because of a “hazardous situation” involving the Northern California dam's emergency spillway. The National Weather Service said the auxiliary spillway is expected to fail and could send an “uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville.”
http://www.latimes.com/local/california ... story.html
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#4

Post by kate520 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:39 pm

I grew up, mostly, in Sacramento. When it rains up there, it rains.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#5

Post by Azastan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:40 pm

Water level is expected to be below the lip of the auxillary/emergency spillway within the hour.

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#6

Post by Plutodog » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:43 pm

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#8

Post by Dolly » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:14 pm

Officials order evacuation of residents near Calif. dam
8:40 PM EST U.S.
............
Honea said two inches of water was still coming over the dam, but that was significantly down from earlier flows. Honea said there was a plan to plug the hole by using helicopters to drop rocks into the crevasse.

He said the evacuation order went out after engineers spotted a hole that was eroding back toward the top of the spillway. Honea added authorities wanted to get people moving quickly to save lives in case “the worst-case scenario came into fruition.”
....
The California Department of Water Resources said it is releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main, heavily damaged spillway to try to drain the lake.

Department Kevin Dossey tells the Sacramento Bee the emergency spillway was rated to handle 250,000 cubic feet per second, but it began to show weakness Sunday at a small fraction of that. Flows through the spillway peaked at 12,600 cubic feet per second at 1 a.m. Sunday and were down to 8,000 cubic feet per second by midday.

Water began flowing over the emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam in Northern California on Saturday for the first time in its nearly 50-year history after heavy rainfall.

Unexpected erosion chewed through the main spillway earlier this week, sending chunks of concrete flying and creating a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep hole that continues growing. Engineers don’t know what caused the cave-in, but Chris Orrock, a spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources, said it appears the dam’s main spillway has stopped crumbling even though it’s being used for water releases. <SNIP>
http://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/officia ... alifornia/
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#9

Post by Dolly » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:22 pm

ABC7 News was live. <wait for video to appear>
2 hours ago ·
Evacuation order issued after Oroville Dam spillway predicted ...
BREAKING NEWS: Thousands of residents near the Oroville Dam were evacuated after the emergency spillway was predicted to fail.

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THOUSANDS EVACUATE AS OROVILLE DAM SPILLWAY EXPECTED TO FAIL
http://abc7news.com/news/evacuation-ord ... l/1751364/
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#10

Post by Azastan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:26 pm

Water is now BELOW the lip of the auxiliary spillway.

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#11

Post by boots » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:27 am

When I saw a thread titled "dam failure" my first thought was "not another Donald Trump thread." Then, I realized, dam not damn

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#12

Post by much ado » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:43 am

Here is a graph of the Oroville Storage Level. It is updated daily. As of midnight on the 11th, it shows the reservoir at 101% of capacity.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/resDetailOrig.action?resid=ORO

I have never seen a reservoir at that level.

I watch the Lake Shasta Storage Level just as a way of keeping track of the drought. It is now at 96%, which is very high for this early in the year.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/resDetailOrig.action?resid=SHA

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#13

Post by Dan1100 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:00 am

A pretty detailed article on history of emergency spillway and warnings about the design from environmental groups.

It reminds me of the Taum Sauk Reservoir, with a 1960's totally unsafe design that totally failed.

Read the whole article, there is good technical detail.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/12/o ... years-ago/
Oroville Dam: Feds and state officials ignored warnings 12 years ago

More than a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California’s largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 130,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe.

Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.

The groups filed the motion with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They said that the dam, built and owned by the state of California, and finished in 1968, did not meet modern safety standards because in the event of extreme rain and flooding, fast-rising water would overwhelm the main concrete spillway, then flow down the emergency spillway, and that could cause heavy erosion that would create flooding for communities downstream, but also could cause a failure, known as “loss of crest control.”

“A loss of crest control could not only cause additional damage to project lands and facilities but also cause damages and threaten lives in the protected floodplain downstream,” the groups wrote.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#14

Post by Dolly » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:10 am

comments on a "friend's" facebook post:


CR Greeley Local news is showing that people are stuck--highways are now parking lots, no gasoline, takes an hour to go two miles...
55 mins

CR Greeley They're asking people to go door to door and find out if their neighbors can get out--apparently there are elderly people out there and there are not enough police/fire/etc to check.

I don't think the people out there realize this, but effectively, they are on their own.

They keep saying the main dam is not in danger of failing. That's good--considering it's the tallest dam in the US (700 feet)--but there's also a lot of water still moving. It's a big dam.
50 mins

Barbara Duncan some good news 14 minutes ago
Lake Oroville water level is now at 900.70 feet. Water has stopped flowing over the auxiliary spillway
/u/BCPSS
41 mins
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#15

Post by Volkonski » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:34 am

Dolly wrote:comments on a "friend's" facebook post:


CR Greeley Local news is showing that people are stuck--highways are now parking lots, no gasoline, takes an hour to go two miles...
55 mins

Reminds me of Hurricane Rita in Houston. :( We were on the road for well over 24 hours and were rescued by our older daughter's in-laws who brought us gasoline from Austin.

CR Greeley They're asking people to go door to door and find out if their neighbors can get out--apparently there are elderly people out there and there are not enough police/fire/etc to check.

Ditto as regards Rita. Not every one has a vehicle or spare cash for an emergency.


I don't think the people out there realize this, but effectively, they are on their own.

Ditto.

They keep saying the main dam is not in danger of failing. That's good--considering it's the tallest dam in the US (700 feet)--but there's also a lot of water still moving. It's a big dam.
50 mins

Dams can fail catastrophically without much warning rather like fatigue failure in steel structures.

Barbara Duncan some good news 14 minutes ago
Lake Oroville water level is now at 900.70 feet. Water has stopped flowing over the auxiliary spillway
/u/BCPSS
41 mins

But as we saw during Hurricane Katrina the water can seep underneath the barriers once the depth is high enough.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#16

Post by Dan1100 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:42 am

Volkonski wrote:
Dolly wrote:comments on a "friend's" facebook post:
:snippity:
Barbara Duncan some good news 14 minutes ago
Lake Oroville water level is now at 900.70 feet. Water has stopped flowing over the auxiliary spillway
/u/BCPSS
41 mins

But as we saw during Hurricane Katrina the water can seep underneath the barriers once the depth is high enough.
I think the danger is that the Emergency spillway has a concrete lip but is just natural dirt below that. So if the concrete lip fails (like it seems like it was getting ready to) then it will be water running over plain dirt. That will erode (like when an earthen river levy overtops) and cause a crevasse to form and quickly get bigger and deeper. It wouldn't be like the dam breaking with a giant wall of water, but it could empty out the lake pretty quickly.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#17

Post by kate520 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:04 am

:-D I worked for one of the three groups that filed the suit that article is about, in the LA office (my apartment), for about a year, though long before this particular issue was occupying their time. Friends of the River is one of the premier environmental groups in California, originally founded to stop dams on key rivers in the state, and their staff are recognized experts in Sacramento on all things water policy related. The farmers, developers, public utilities and dam operators and their lobbyists - the takers of water beyond their actual needs, defilers of nature because they can and still the drivers of stupid water policy - love to hate the dirty fucking hippies at FOR for bringing awareness to public policy decisions made without much public input -until FOR gets involved and makes them do the right thing for the environment. There's a real antagonistic relationship between the environmental groups and those businesses.

I'm not surprised in the least that their concerns about the design of the spillway were ignored. PG&E once tried to convince Sacramento residents that FOR was just fear-mongering when PG&E wanted to build a new dam on an earthquake fault. Called them eco terrorists. ;)
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS***. Dam Failure

#18

Post by Chilidog » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:35 am

Techno Luddite wrote:When I saw a thread titled "dam failure" my first thought was "not another Donald Trump thread." Then, I realized, dam not damn
I changed it a bit.

Hopefully the crisis is over.

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Oroville Dam

#19

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:11 am

Perhaps this environmental crisis will give some leverage in discussions about deregulation.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Oroville Dam

#20

Post by TexasFilly » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:19 am

Rachel's been covering this in great depth. Fascinating to watch from afar. Horrific for those in danger.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Oroville Dam

#21

Post by RVInit » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:28 am

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:Perhaps this environmental crisis will give some leverage in discussions about deregulation.
I hope so. But the current batch of Republicans in Congress don't give a crap about anything but protecting their donor base. I intend to be a serious thorn in Marco Rubio's side. But, I've been doing that since he was elected and he doesn't give a crap. He responds by writing some of the most dismissive letters I've ever read. I have finally wizened up and started calling his office, but he is one that is too chicken shit to have anyone answer the phone half the time.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Oroville Dam

#22

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:03 pm

RVInit wrote:
Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:Perhaps this environmental crisis will give some leverage in discussions about deregulation.
I hope so. But the current batch of Republicans in Congress don't give a crap about anything but protecting their donor base. I intend to be a serious thorn in Marco Rubio's side. But, I've been doing that since he was elected and he doesn't give a crap. He responds by writing some of the most dismissive letters I've ever read. I have finally wizened up and started calling his office, but he is one that is too chicken shit to have anyone answer the phone half the time.
Understood. I have Tom Cotton.
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Oroville Dam

#23

Post by GlimDropper » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:09 pm

I found a very interesting and detailed conversation about this dam issue on another forum:

https://www.metabunk.org/oroville-dam-s ... 381/page-4

That link queues up to some time yesterday but the discussion started last Thursday.

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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Oroville Dam

#24

Post by kate520 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:32 pm

Thanks, glimdropper. Great link!
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Re: ***BREAKING NEWS*** Oroville Dam

#25

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:32 pm

GlimDropper wrote:I found a very interesting and detailed conversation about this dam issue on another forum:

https://www.metabunk.org/oroville-dam-s ... 381/page-4

That link queues up to some time yesterday but the discussion started last Thursday.
Thanks for the link.

To note: there are several more pictures posted in that thread. Especially nice to see the dam at low water.

Interesting that they cannot use the turbines at the moment to reduce the water level. Cause 1: water is backing up into the outlets from the main spillway operating at top capacity. Cause 2: the electrical path to the grid was shut down cause they were expecting problems with the pylons both sides of the main spillway, generators are obviously hardcoupled to the turbines and need the grid to take away the energy.

Operating from behind a keyboard, I don't want to criticise the people on the ground. Having seen how much ground is under the water of the lake behind the emergency spillway, I would assume that the ground settings on the front side where overflow water had collected is not a real danger.

Also interesting to note that the main spillway cannot operate at its highest capacity, cause a flood control reservoir downstream cannot handle all that water.

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