California: 188,000 under evacuation orders near damaged dam in Northern California

The California Department of Water Resources said it is releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main, heavily damaged spillway to try to drain the lake.

California: 188,000 under evacuation orders near damaged dam in Northern California

At least 188,000 people remain under evacuation orders after Northern California authorities warned an emergency spillway in the country's tallest dam was in danger of failing Sunday.

The California Department of Water Resources said on Sunday afternoon said that the emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam in Northern California could fail within an hour unleashing uncontrolled flood waters from Lake Oroville.


People in downstream areas need to leave the area immediately, CNBC reported as department saying.

Residents of Oroville, a town of 16,000 people, should head north toward Chico, and other cities should follow orders from their local law enforcement agencies, said the Butte County Sheriff's office.

The California Department of Water Resources said it is releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main, heavily damaged spillway to try to drain the lake.

Water began flowing over the emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam in Northern California on Saturday for the first time in its nearly 50-year history after heavy rainfall.

Unexpected erosion chewed through the main spillway earlier this week, sending chunks of concrete flying and creating a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep hole that continues growing. Engineers don't know what caused the cave-in.

The lake which supplies water for agriculture in the Central Valley and residents and businesses in Southern California, is a central piece of California's government-run water delivery network.

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