- Associated Press
Friday, February 17, 2017

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on problems with an emergency spillway at the nation’s tallest dam (all times local):

7:15 p.m.


A California lawmaker wants to require more spillway inspections in the wake of evacuations prompted by damaged spillways at the country’s tallest dam.

Assemblyman Marc Levine announced the legislation Friday.

Days earlier, nearly 200,000 people were evacuated for fear the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam in Northern California would fail.

The San Rafael Democrat is seeking to require annual physical inspections for all auxiliary spillways on state-managed dams.

Officials diverted water to the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway over the weekend after severe erosion damaged the main spillway. The emergency spillway had never been used.

Levine called visual inspections of the dam “not good enough” and said physical inspections are essential for public safety.

___

3:15 p.m.

Authorities are looking for two people accused of carjacking and running over a man preparing to flee from Oroville when authorities ordered nearly 200,000 people to evacuate.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says the victim was loading his vehicle with the engine running when a man and woman armed with a shotgun jumped in, running him over as he attempted to stop them.

Honea says the victim was flown to a hospital with serious injuries. Authorities said they are seeking 27-year-old Cody Bowles and 31-year-old Lucia Ripley.

The sheriff says three other people have been arrested for crimes committed during the evacuation. A 25-year-old man and 16-year-old boy are charged with looting and other crimes following a burglary at a market.

Another man is accused of stealing a safe from a home.

___

1:30 p.m.

California officials say they’ll continue reducing the flow of water out of Lake Oroville over the next two days despite several looming storms expected to dump several inches of rain in the area.

State Department of Water Resources Acting Director Bill Croyle said Friday that forecasts show only a slight rise in the water level behind the troubled Oroville Dam, where damage to two spillways led authorities to order the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.

Officials have flushed more than 40 feet of water from the lake since Sunday, when it reached capacity and overflowed, causing dangerous erosion. Croyle says there’s now plenty of room to absorb storm runoff.

Croyle says by Saturday water releases will be down 40 percent from the peak of 100,000 cubic feet per second.

___

9:25 a.m.

The level of the Oroville reservoir has been reduced by 40 feet to accommodate inflow from current and expected storms and is not expected to exceed anticipated outflows.

Officials had been releasing 100,000 cubic feet of water, or enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, each second from the lake since Sunday, when the sheriff ordered an immediate evacuation. It was reduced to 80,000 cubic feet of water per second late Thursday.

Officials slowed the release of water from the lake behind the nation’s tallest dam so crews can remove debris from the bottom of the structure’s damaged spillway.

State Department of Water Resources officials say that removing debris protects Oroville Dam’s power plant and will allow for it eventually to be restarted.

Meanwhile, two trails near the damaged spillway remain closed, but boat ramps at the lake remain open.

___

8:15 a.m.

California officials are slowing the release of water from a lake behind the nation’s tallest dam so crews can remove debris from the bottom of the structure’s damaged spillway.

Officials had been releasing 100,000 cubic feet of water, or enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, each second from the lake since Sunday, when the sheriff ordered an immediate evacuation. It was reduced to 80,000 cubic feet of water per second late Thursday.

State Department of Water Resources officials say that removing debris protects Oroville Dam’s power plant and will allow for it eventually to be restarted.

The level of the reservoir has been reduced by 36 feet to accommodate inflow from upcoming storms. Still, water inflows are not expected to exceed current outflows.


Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.