Author Topic: Oroville Dam situation  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline sacreyweather

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Oroville Dam situation
« on: February 12, 2017, 09:32:05 PM »
Hi Folks,

There is an imminent danger of the emergency spillway collapsing at the Oroville Dam, north of Oroville. It's all over Twitter, FB, TV news in CS , etc. NOT Good for the Sacramento Valley.

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Offline chief-david

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 09:47:51 PM »
I put a link in the winter thread

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/02/12/officials-order-evacuations-areas-near-damaged-california-dam.html

This could be disastrous. From drought to flood
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Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 09:51:35 PM »
I work for a CBS station, and we've been using tweets from NWS Sacramento and content from CBS San Fransisco. It could turn into a very sad situation.  :-(
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Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 09:53:20 PM »
Thanks, Chief.

Hope it holds. If it goes, that's like a 30 ft. wall of water there with a full lake behind it. Lake capacity is 3.56 million acre-feet, which translates to approx. 1.3 Trillion gallons of water, not to mention having the tallest earthen dam in the U.S.
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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 09:59:43 PM »
Image on twitter.
Randy

Offline chief-david

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Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 10:06:36 PM »
Here's some live helicopter coverage I've been watching on: http://www.kcra.com/article/evacuation-orders-issued-for-low-levels-of-oroville/8735215
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Offline chief-david

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 10:21:29 PM »
What surprises me is that none of the major news outlets have anything live.
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2017, 10:36:04 PM »
The area of concern doesn't seem to be the large concrete emergency auxiliary spillway beside the normal spillway, it seems to focus on the  adjacent parking lot (now submerged) with water spilling over that paved section.  There were clearly visible whitewater trails of that overflow.  There also is concern about 'a 30 foot section' in danger of 'imminent collapse'.  I watched the KCRA live feed until they stopped it after dark and the helicopter had to return to base in Sacramento (70 miles South).

Evacuation orders were issued for the area and also for down-stream communities along the Feather river.

Let's hope the section under concern holds and doesn't collapse as is feared.  There is no danger to the dam or the main spillway from a possible collapse on the auxiliary (emergency) spillway.

Local news in the Bay Area did cover a lot of the drama with live shots (provided by central-CA TV helicopters).  The area is poorly illuminated at night, so livecasting has stopped for now.
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Offline ALITTLEweird1

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 10:40:09 PM »
This whole thing is crazy. Not sure if anything like this has happened in recent years. Hopefully she holds and everyone is safe.
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Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2017, 11:01:57 PM »
Crazy, yes!

We come off of 5 years of severe/exceptional drought.  Multiple atmospheric rivers (in a non-El Nino year).  Reservoirs fill quickly.
The main spillway erodes and a big section in the middle crumbles, so they reduce the spillway outflow, but the inflow exceeds the outflow.  Lake rises to 901ft and begins spilling over the unused-since-built-in-1978 auxiliary spillway.  Lake continues to rise, and despite reopening the main (damaged) spillway to 100Kcft/sec, the recreational parking lot submerges and water begins spilling over that edge adjacent to the auxiliary spillway.

Still haven't heard exactly which '30 foot section' was considered in danger of collapse yet, but that was the trigger for the emergency evacuation orders for downstream communities.



« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 11:09:16 PM by saratogaWX »
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Offline Jáchym

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 05:17:29 AM »
Wow... it is even on the front page of our main newspaper:
http://www.idnes.cz/

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 12:23:00 PM »
Things are better this morning.  There was no collapse (whew!).  The lake level has descended to 3 feet below the emergency spillway level, so there is no longer any flow over that emergency spillway.

They continue to drain at 100Kcfs discharge (v.s. 45Kcfs inflow to the lake) through the damaged main spillway.
The evacuation orders are still in place. They are preparing to shore-up the damaged emergency spillway with large bags of rocks in case the emergency spillway has to be used again.
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Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 12:26:31 PM »
The west has been battered with water period, not including the dam incident.

Northern Nevada is currently experiencing a 50 year flood. Elko, NV has been particularly hard hit.

http://kutv.com/news/local/state-of-emergency-declared-for-elko-county-nevada-amid-flooding

Live Updates here for the dam -> http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-live-updates-oroville-dam-20170212-htmlstory.html   At this time, no collapse has occurred, and no water is flowing over the spillway.

Last I had seen on the Associated Press, more than 130,000 people were asked to evacuate.
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Offline Jstx

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 12:50:50 PM »
Things are better this morning.  There was no collapse (whew!).  The lake level has descended to 3 feet below the emergency spillway level, so there is no longer any flow over that emergency spillway.

They continue to drain at 100Kcfs discharge (v.s. 45Kcfs inflow to the lake) through the damaged main spillway.
The evacuation orders are still in place. They are preparing to shore-up the damaged emergency spillway with large bags of rocks in case the emergency spillway has to be used again.

Kind of sad that the shortsighted politicians and PTB were warned 11-12 years ago about precisely this disaster happening, what could help prevent it, and none of them did a thing about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oroville_Dam
Quote
On October 17, 2005 three environmental groups filed a motion with the federal government urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen spillway. Federal and state officials said it was unnecessary and concerns were overblown.[25][26]

Oroville mr:
ref 25.  "State was warned about inadequacy of emergency spillway". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
Mercurynews.com:
ref 26.  "Oroville Dam: Feds and state officials ignored warnings 12 years ago". Retrieved February 13, 2017.

Offline chief-david

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2017, 07:21:23 PM »
Quote
Kind of sad that the shortsighted politicians and PTB were warned 11-12 years ago about precisely this disaster happening, what could help prevent it, and none of them did a thing about it.

What--No--This never happens.   Ok-off of the politics.

It still find it unfortunate that the area is going from major drought to major flood. Just crazy. I heard more rain could be moving in.


Disclaimer-Ashamed to admit it-I have never heard of this dam. Especially that is it the tallest in the  US. Is it getting overshadowed by other structures or the fact that it is secluded?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 07:25:51 PM by chief-david »
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Offline ClaireAnderson

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2017, 01:53:06 AM »
Nearly 200000 people have evacuated near Oroville dam in California. The emergency spillway of the dam is damaged. Helicopters are flying overhead to deliver sacks of rocks to the emergency spillway to try and shore up the erosion there.
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Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2017, 07:57:53 PM »
Evacuation has been lifted, but the 200,000 people were told to "be on alert"  :roll: :roll:
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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2017, 06:42:32 AM »
It still find it unfortunate that the area is going from major drought to major flood. Just crazy.

" It is said that all droughts end in floods. 2014 will be remembered as one of those years ... "

https://www.weather.gov/ama/2014_weather_review

"Droughts end in Floods and that is certainly the case this year ... "

http://www.agweb.com/blog/better-weather-with-captain-kirk/droughts-end-in-floodsfloods-end-in-droughts/

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Offline gwwilk

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2017, 07:56:21 AM »
It still find it unfortunate that the area is going from major drought to major flood. Just crazy.

" It is said that all droughts end in floods. 2014 will be remembered as one of those years ... "

https://www.weather.gov/ama/2014_weather_review

"Droughts end in Floods and that is certainly the case this year ... "

http://www.agweb.com/blog/better-weather-with-captain-kirk/droughts-end-in-floodsfloods-end-in-droughts/

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that because of occasional flooding, MOST years' average precipitation will run a deficit.  That said, several of these normal years with a few below normal years interspersed could be considered a drought.  So what IS normal?  Have we settled areas during abnormally wet years only to learn later that our land is subject to periodic and occasionally prolonged dearths of precipitation and these precipitation deficits don't support the use to which we've put this land?  Then when precipitation outstrips the norm by quite a bit causing flooding it will almost always be on the heels of several years of 'below normal' precipitation.  "Droughts end in floods" may partially be a tautology created by our record-keeping.

Don't get me wrong.  I think that California has over the years done a marvelous job compensating for these precipitation fluctuations, much of which would be impossible to accomplish today because of strident environmental concerns.  Without the dams the downstream flooding may have been much worse.  I'm amazed at the concerted effort being made to shore up the endangered dam.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 07:58:37 AM by gwwilk »
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Offline SLOweather

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2017, 02:47:32 PM »
A few things re: Oroville.

In the third hand information department... 2 unofficial reports (truck driver and helicopter pilot both dumping rocks in the spillway) say there appears to be a sand boil under the failed section.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_boil

Also, the lifting of the evacuation may have been at least partially driven by looting and the inability to adequately patrol the vast evacuated areas.

Coincidentally, yesterday, I finished reading Colossus by Michael Hiltzik, about the building of Hoover Dam. In 1941 they raised the level of the lake to test the spillways for 2 months. When they were through, the spillway tunnel concrete was reduced to rubble, and there was a 115 foot long x 45 foot deep hole.

Years after repairs, similar damage occurred in 1982. Also in 1983, Glen Canyon Dam spillways were damaged. The root cause was finally determined to be cavitation.

It seems like the Oroville damage should have been anticipated.

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2017, 02:53:50 PM »
"Also, the lifting of the evacuation may have been at least partially driven by looting and the inability to adequately patrol the vast evacuated areas".

They need a special place for those low lifes. :evil:

Offline Garth Bock

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 10:03:22 AM »
"Also, the lifting of the evacuation may have been at least partially driven by looting and the inability to adequately patrol the vast evacuated areas".

They need a special place for those low lifes. :evil:

I think there is a theater in Hell where they will have a woman with a screaming baby on one side, a woman on the other talking on a cellphone and behind them is some guy continuously coughing up a lung.....for all eternity..... :twisted: :evil:

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Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Oroville Dam situation
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2017, 01:40:23 AM »
Good bit of rain returning to the region.
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