But only if the dam breaks. And what are the odds of that? Rather good I’d say.

But the crisis at Lake Oroville won’t abate any time soon. Northern California is on pace for its wettest winter ever, and Croyle said an estimated 2.8 million acre-feet of snow blankets the Sierra above the dam. Depending on how quickly that melts, it will put additional strain on Oroville Dam in the months to come.

“Our next 60 to 90 days will be critical, how we route this (snow) runoff through this reservoir,” Croyle said. “There’s a lot of snow up there.”

The below videos will give you a better view of the situation than the news reports will give you.

Thanks to LG at Chief IO for the first video.


About 14 minutes

 
 
This one is from The Sacramento Bee.


About 2 minutes

 
 
If I was to hazard a guess on the spillway problem, based on repairs in prior years I’d say bad concrete. Not enough cement (a standard contractor cheat)?, Not enough rebar? Something else?

Someone probably knows – from tests done on the repaired sections.