Water & Drought

Oroville spillway gates close for season to make way for repairs

Water officials ramp down Oroville spillway

The Department of Water Resources ramped down the Oroville Dam flood control spillway from 20,000 cubic feet per second to zero cfs on Friday, May 19. Take a look.
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The Department of Water Resources ramped down the Oroville Dam flood control spillway from 20,000 cubic feet per second to zero cfs on Friday, May 19. Take a look.

The Department of Water Resources ramped down the Oroville Dam flood control spillway flows from 20,000 cubic feet per second to zero cfs on Friday.

With no more water gushing down the spillway, contractors working for DWR will start working full-time to shore up the badly damaged spillway before next winter.

Flows to the Feather River were gradually reduced over multiple days, water officials said. The Lake Oroville water level was at 829.49 feet at the time the spillway gates were closed. The maximum water level is 901 feet.

Officials intend to keep the gates closed for the remainder of the season so that construction on the spillways can continue without delay. DWR will manage inflows from snow melt using Hyatt Powerplant and the River Valve Outlet System.

A massive sinkhole formed in Oroville’s main spillway on Feb. 7 during heavy storms. A huge rainstorm filled Lake Oroville so high that water started flowing over the adjacent emergency spillway – a concrete lip above an unlined hillside – for the first time in the dam’s history.

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