Lake Oroville: thousands evacuated as part of tallest dam in US ‘set to fail’

At least 130,000 residents near the dam in northern California told to leave immediately as spillway could collapse following weeks of heavy rain
Tens of thousands of people living downstream from the tallest dam in the United States have been ordered to evacuate after authorities said a spillway was in danger of imminent collapse.
The abrupt evacuation orders came as authorities determined that the auxiliary spillway on the Lake Oroville dam in northern California could give way at any time, unleashing floodwaters onto rural communities along the Feather river.
How I rented a piece of a river in a never-ending western drought
At least 130,000 people have been asked to evacuate.
“Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered,” the Butte County sheriff said in a statement posted on social media. “This in NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill.”

The California department of water resources said on Twitter at about 4:30pm PST (0030 GMT Monday) that the spillway next to the dam was “predicted to fail within the next hour”.
However it was still standing nearly three hours later as the department said crews would use helicopters to drop rocks to fill a gouge in the spillway. Authorities were also releasing water to lower the lake’s level.


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