Emails highlight missteps in handling of dam crisis

Repairs at Lake Oroville carry quarter billion dollar pricetag

Kiewit to begin work repairing Oroville Dam spillway

"This happened. Stuff happens", he said last month.

DWR continued to release water from the damaged spillway as more rain moved across Northern California. In an email to Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, the state water agency says hydrology reports show the flow of water, even reduced, will keep the lake from spilling over the emergency spillway.

Officials also opened the bids to complete the repairs for the spillway with cost estimates ranging from $275.4 million to $344.1 million.

Managers at the nation's tallest dam made a critical mistake by allowing the lake behind it reach its highest level ever.

Managers at the 50-year-old Oroville dam, tallest in the United States, misjudged the size of the massive rupture in its main spillway, according to new disclosures.

Officials said Monday that inflows to the lake are running at 28,224 cubic feet per second while outflows down the spillway are running at 35,000 cubic feet per second.


Conservation groups are urging extensive and swift repairs at the nation's tallest dam, where an eroding spillway triggered an evacuation order for almost 200,000 people in February. State officials are expanding efforts to inform the public, but say there have been dozens of news briefings, updates and advisories.

A federally ordered investigation is underway.

Repairs are scheduled to begin immediately to have the system operational by November 1, the traditional start of the winter rainy season. "The expectation was that the emergency spillway was going to be able to pass".

Democrats in the U.S. House want the auditing arm of Congress to review dam safety standards following a crisis at the nation's tallest dam.

In 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission affirmed the safety of both spillways and said there was no point in studying or discussing whether the possibility of either could fail, state officials told AP.

The group that includes six House members from California tells the Government Accountability Office that a changing climate raises risks for aging dams around the U.S.

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