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Storm's a brewin'! Massive storm threatens to flood more than just the Oroville Dam

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
2/17/2017 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Heavy rains put a strain on several more dams, levees and waterways.

California braces itself for a four-day storm as Oroville Dam appears to be only one of many cities at risk of flooding.

How much longer will the dam last?

How much longer will the dam last?

Highlights

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/17/2017 (2 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Oroville, dam, rain, flood


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Whoever has been praying for rain should have been a little more specific.

California appears to be finally receiving the water it has so badly needed amid a years-long drought - but all that water is expected to come all at once in a massive storm.


The National Weather Service stated: "The storm looks to be the strongest storm to hit southwest California this season. It is likely the strongest within the last six years and possibly even as far back as December 2004 or January 1995."

Dams, levees, rivers and other waterways are facing water levels they haven't seen in years. Vehicles are getting stranded in deeper-than-expected bodies of water on roadways and sixteen water reservoirs were reported to be above 90 percent full as of Wednesday morning.

"The incessant heavy rains, expected to reach up to 1 inch per hour, will dramatically increase the threat of urban flooding, as well as mud and debris flows from recent burn areas near mountainous terrain," meteorologist Derek VanDam predicted.

"The highest elevations of Los Angeles and Ventura counties will likely experience 1 to 2 feet of snow with near hurricane force winds near the tops of mountain overpasses."

Over 20 million people, including those in Los Angeles and San Diego, are on flash flood watch and Death Valley National Park, notorious for how dry it is year-round, is also under a flood watch.

The Oroville dam fails in our nightmare scenario, and the town nestled at its foot is washed away in minutes.

The Oroville dam fails in our nightmare scenario, and the town nestled at its foot is washed away in minutes.


In Butte County, helicopters dropped rocks and concrete into areas of the damn worn away by years of unchecked erosion. Acting Director of the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) Bill Croyle stated the debris "kind of glues the areas of concern."

Three sites of the Oroville Dam were of concern. One site was completely filled with the rocks and cement and the remaining sites are at 25 and 69 percent.

California Fire Department spokesman Jay Smith explained: "The dam is holding up, it's structurally sound." He added Oroville Lake has fallen to 869 feet, 32 feet shy of the top, and said "everything is going well."

He did, however, say, "we're cautiously optimistic."


Dave Hennen, a senior meteorologist for CNN, said the storm had the potential to add "billions of gallons of water into Lake Oroville" over the next week, which would apply extra pressure "onto the already compromised structure of the concrete spillway and emergency spillway next to Oroville Dam."

Will the Dam break? We can only pray it doesn't.

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