oroville dam is fine

[click image]


But for the sinkhole and breakage in the main spillway, everything's been functioning per specs. The lake rose too much while they had the main spillway shut off for inspecting the sinkhole damage and the runoff was too intense to prevent the auxiliary spillway from coming into use for the first time in the dam's history.

Had they not shut off the flow for the sinkhole inspection, the water still might have topped the auxiliary spillway, but probably not risen up over the boat launch parking lot. The auxiliary spillway can be seen today in helicopter footage and it is patent and obviously performed perfectly.

The fact that it took out the roadway to the parking lot in front is NO failure of the dam, and the fact that it cut a deep ravine down is also NO failure. The fact that the water rose so much it topped the parking lot and took out a little more of the access road in front of it also is NO failure.

The failure was the sinkhole on the main spillway, but the spillway is still functioning and all the damage to it seems already done and not worsening.

You will do better not to listen very carefully to the talking heads and agency heads and concentrate on what your eyes tell you. I know I'm a jerk, but I was looking at it all last evening and could find NO remote evidence of failure... excepting maybe that turning off the main spillway may have exacerbated the epic flow over the dam.

I'm trying not to be angry about them discommoding and scaring the snot out of upwards of 200,000 area residents and countless other humans who feared a disaster of such proportions, because they were likely rattled about not knowing about the sinkhole in time to begin with and not knowing how much damage might still be lurking under the surface, and would rather look like boobs to people like me than chance the loss of life with so many known unknowns on their plates.

But... FUCK.

When was the last time anyone in charge thought about ground-penetrating radar on that slope? Never? WTF? With all the sinkholes swallowing houses and cars and highways, they're not thinking of this in advance? That reservoir has been despicably low throughout the long drought and they couldn't have been using that time to get geologists and engineers out checking everything?

The interference with vital natural systems from building all these monster dams to begin with has been shown and known for decades. That fact trebles the imperative for smart management now... and it does not appear to me that we are getting it.


I have figured out why the mindfucks in every direction, and why the ongoing evacuation order. They're trying to get federal funds. Old Uncle Dave could swear repairs and upgrades money for Oroville was on the ballot three or four years ago, but was voted down. I don't remember that, but I don't think money for that would be a ballot matter. It would be a budget matter.

This makes it pretty certain we're looking at what you might call a modified limited hangout version of Katrina.

Again, the auxiliary spillway, aka emergency spillway, has not failed and is not damaged. The road and dirt in front of it is, but not catastrophically. This happened because the damaged main spillway was shut off too long, while assessing the damage, and rose the lake to a dangerous level, given the rain and runoff... they just FORGOT to take into account the amount of runoff and how fast it would fill the lake. They fucked up.

It just looks messy enough to "justify" the evacuation order [note well that graph is not accurate, only an illustration of what they say they are afraid of, and would be a definite concern if the spillway would have been releasing at that rate for another day].

Footage from last night.

Image from yesterday... same area this morning.

When I find the YouBube video of this evening's report on what's been done last night and today, I'll post it here and let you freak out about it on your own, but the short and short of it is that all the crews were ready to hit it last night. They didn't... which would not be a problem because the auxiliary spillway is in no danger of breaking and the water behind it is lowering steadily.

The "storms" coming, are not arriving until Thursday and will be much lighter, without the same high amount of runoff. The dam is fine. The main spillway needs repair, and the road to the boat ramp and its surrounding landscape needs shored up and rebuilt for the next time this happens.

What they should have is two, full on sturdy and functional spillways. This dog and pony show, leaving people in shelters instead of their homes, is about getting the money for them out of the feds.




I have added so many links I just moved this up from 2pm this afternoon.

pipe up any time....