Panel reflects on Oroville Spillway situation


Oroville Dam Panel Matt Colwell – Left Dave Steindorf – Right Photo credit: Daniel Wright

A reflection panel on the Oroville Dam discussed the various factors that led up to the evacuations and the use of the emergency spillway.

The event was hosted by the Center for Water and the Environment along with the Department of Civil Engineering student chapter.

During the Oroville Dam emergency, the water levels reached 3.54 million acre-feet, which exceeded the limit placed by the Department of Army Engineers.

“We hit this red line,” said Matt Colwell of South Feather Water and Power.

This necessitated the use of the emergency spillway. Which nearly failed at 12,000 CFS, only 3 percent of what it was rated to handle, according to Dave Steindorf from American Whitewater.

The exact reasons that led to the failure of the main spillway, are still under forensic investigation, and more information as to the cause will continue to become available over the course of 2017, as stated during the panel discussion.

Daniel Wright can be reached at [email protected] or @Danny_W_Chico on Twitter.