Oroville Dam Crisis Worsens-Last Ditch Effort to Save the Dam Is Underway
by Dave Hodges
Saturday, May 18, 2019
California faces a triple whammy in which millions of California residents are at risk for three major dam failures. Most readers are aware that the Oroville Dam is in crisis. The latter part of this report will provide a very grim update of the condition of the Oroville and the desperate measures being employed to delay the catastrophic failure of the dam. However, a second dam, the Prado Dam, which now threatens over one million resident of Orange County is in crisis.
CSS colleague, Alexandra Daley, sent a summation of a newspaper account, written by Ashley Ludwig, Patch Staff which was written on May 17, 2019 at 1PM Pacific time.
The Prado Dam is now at a high urgency risk characterization, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Federal engineers are stating that there is a good chance for a “significant flood event. and they upgraded the dam’s risk category from moderate to high urgency.”
According to Federal officials, strong Pacific storms, could produce conditions that could breach the spillway of the Orange County dam. A catastrophic failure has the potential to “drown out dozens of downstream communities, from Anaheim’s Disneyland to Newport Beach” according to the Army Corps of Engineers from the Los Angeles District.
“Over 1.4 million people live and work below Prado Dam, with property valued at over $61 billion, including Disneyland and many high-end resorts and properties in Newport Beach.
The Dam has been near failure in the past. In 2005, a leak in the dam led to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in Corona.
Army Corps of Engineer spokesperson, Lillian Doherty told the LA Times that the spillway was a concern, but that repairs on the spillway won’t begin for at least two years. The obvious question jumps off the page: What if a hundred year storm should strike the area before repairs are completed? This damaged spillway is a clear and present danger to 1.4 million residents. However, farther north, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) won’t even admit the Oroville Dam spillway cannot be used
Ominous Update On the Oroville Dam
Spillway? Did someone say spillway? At least in Orange County, the federal government has a presence. The people of Orange County should feel good about this. For months, Paul Preston and myself have saying the spillway is damaged and cannot be used to handle the spring run-offs and heavy rains. The people that have mocked our warnings owe us both an apology. In a last ditch effort to save the dam, the DWR is attempting to divert water through the power plant by utilizing something called penstocks. This will allow the Oroville Dam to generate 13,000 cubic feet per second of water with regard to the outflow of water expelled by the dam. Presently the dam cannot generate more than 10,000 cubic feet per second. This process is now needed because the spillway is damaged beyond repair. This is what Paul Preston and myself have been saying, and showing with photos published on our respective websites, and we are now seeing the proof which is employing this desperate and last ditch attempt to delay the inevitable. From the inflow/outflow numbers at the dam, we figure they have an additional three days. The day of reckoning for Oroville Dam is almost here .
The Oroville Dam is less than 10 feet from overtopping. What happens when an earthen dam like the Prado or Oroville Dam has its water overtop the dam? Here is what Army Corps of Engineers Division Chief, Lillian Doherty says about this issue.
“Our concern right now is about the concrete slab of the spillway and how well it will perform if water were to spill over the top of the dam, We will determine whether or not it is as reliable as it should be.”
Source: Oroville Dam Crisis Worsens-Last Ditch Effort to Save the Dam Is Underway