OROVILLE (CBS13) — A team of experts warns that if the main spillway at the Oroville Dam isn’t fixed by the next rainy season, the state is a “very significant risk.”
A five-member team of independent consultants released a report explaining the dire need for a spillway fix and the tight schedule.
“Whatever it is they’re going to do, they’ll have to design it fast,” said Ron Stork, a flood-control expert in Sacramento.
Stork says he wasn’t surprised by the findings in the report.
“The DWR has a really tough job to try and do to get that spillway reconstructed in about three or four months,” said Stork.
The authors of the report wrote that a fix needs to be in place by November 1 or the state could face significant risk. Although they didn’t explain what that risk entailed.
Stork says the engineers will likely explore all options.
“They may reconstruct the hillside or potentially even move the spillway into a part of the hillside that hasn’t totally eroded away,” explained Stork.
But any plan, Stork says, would be a massive undertaking, likely with obstacles and interruptions.
“They’re going to be needing to use that main spillway because there’s a bunch of snow up there,” said Stork explaining how the spillway would still be utilized to ease pressure on the lake levels from snow melt.
The Department of Water Resources released a statement on Wednesday reading in part, “The DWR’s objective is to have a fully functional spillway by the fall…We are expediting response and recovery efforts and we’ll be working round the clock through spring summer and fall to make that happen.”