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The progression of the spillway's damage after one night - via Metabunk[/caption]
You may have heard of the Oroville Dam, California’s second-largest reservoir, that's about to break
and flood the entire state of California (take that, drought!). Well, those reports may be a tad over exaggerated. No, the Oroville Dam is not going to break.
The emergency spillway, however, may fail
The Spillway Spilled
Apparently there's a big, gaping hole in the emergency spillway which could continue to erode, thus causing the water to go off the side. That will cause a much faster erosion, opening up more room for damage and heavy flooding.
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70 Miles downriver in Sacramento - via Metabunk[/caption]
As the spillway continues to release the kraken
dam lake water, flooding is inevitable. To make things worse, flooding downriver has already begun. The image to the right shows what the water levels were like in Sacramento on Sunday. Levels certainly are high with flooding already happening, but Monday and Tuesday are expected to be rainless and dry, which will help the situation. However, there is another round of rain expected
later on in the week which could last for several days.
At the time of this writing, however, things have calmed down
, as Lake Oroville water levels have dropped past 901 feet, which is the level when the lake water spills into the spillway. But all is not completely peachy at the spillway. According to the Sacramento Bee
, severe damage is expected to have occurred on the main spillway from water releasing so quickly.
Gridlocked and Gasless
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Queue for gas as residents evacuate - via Sacramento Bee[/caption]
At least 188,000 people were evacuated
downriver from the Oroville Dam. As you might think, the order to evacuate caused a bit of panic, which, in turn, resulted in a gridlock on Sunday night. Some people were stuck in their cars on the side of the road, their gas indicator on red. Gas stations along the evacuation route had shut off the pumps, all out of gas. Fuel was certainly difficult to come by. An easy fix to this is to always keep your vehicle filled to at least half a tank. That way, if you are forced to evacuate without much warning (indeed, these people only had about an hour’s notice), you can at least get past the high-traffic areas until you Replace a less congested gas station to fill up at.
Nowhere to Sleep
With the mass exodus that ensued following the flood threat, hotels in Sacramento and a nearby county filled up fast. What would you do if you couldn’t Replace a place to stay? By having some form of emergency shelter (i.e. a tent
), you could at least Replace a nice patch of grass on which to camp out (uphill from the flood threat, of course). If you already have a tent, this impromptu campout is a less-expensive alternative to hunting down a vacant hotel room (bonus: camping is fun!).
At the time of this writing, the situation is improving, but with more rain on the horizon, the threat level could rise once again. Emergencies can happen to anyone in any location. The Oroville Dam incident is specific to a few hundred thousand people, yes, but other unforeseen disasters could threaten your area without a moment’s notice. Use today to be prepared for tomorrow, and get your emergency gear together as soon as you can.
Written by Steven M.