Water & Drought

A look at Oroville Dam spillway as a repair milestone arrives today

The Phase 1 reconstruction deadline for the main Oroville Dam spillway hits today, the start of the rainy season.

The Department of Water Resources, which owns the Lake Oroville dam in Butte County, released a final flyover video showing the spillway just before the Nov. 1 deadline.

Kiewit Corp. work crews are laying the last layer of concrete on the spillway in an effort to bring the structure up to water flows capable of passing 100,000 cubic-feet per second, according to the Chico Enterprise.

When the work is completed, the spillway will be able to handle 270,000 cfs.

"Crews will be placing the last layer of concrete which is a re-enforcing overlay in the middle portion of the chute that will provide a stronger wearing surface," Erin Mellon, DWR Assistant Director of Public Affairs, told KCRA 3.

He told the news station that work will continue into the evening, but it will be finished on Nov. 1.

Rain is in the forecast for Friday and Saturday.

The emergency spillway went into use for the first time ever on Feb. 12, but intense erosion caused fear that the structure would burst. Officials ordered over 180,000 people in areas below the dam to be evacuated.

David Caraccio: 916-321-1125, @DavidCaraccio