Nearly 200,000 Californian residents have had to be evacuated since Sunday night, thanks to a damaged emergency spillway belonging to the tallest dam in the United States. The Lake Oroville dam is still intact, but its emergency spillway, which keeps the dam from overflowing, began eroding away on Sunday.
The evident damage prompted emergency evacuations across several cities and counties near the dam. One official commented that in a worst case scenario, an uncontrollable 30-foot wall of water would be released downstream. This potential disaster appears to unfortunately have been a long time coming.
Mercury News reports, “More than a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California’s largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 185,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe.”
It seems that the catastrophe may finally be here, as water continues to pour from the dam.
Lake levels were reportedly dropping by a shocking one foot every three hours, as 100,000 cubic feet of water came pouring out of the lake per second. Zero Hedge reports that at current pace, the lake “will fall to about 400,000 acre-feet below its emergency spillway by Thursday morning.” However, the lake needs to fall by about 700,000 acre-feet in order to get back to its mandated flood-prevention levels.
Officials say that they are hoping to drain the lake by at least 20 to 30 feet by the next storm, which may come as soon as Wednesday. In an effort to quell the damaged spillway, giant sandbags are being filled with aggregate. Helicopters are being used to drop sandbags and rocks to plug up the eroded spillway and supposedly limit the damage that will be caused, but is it just another case of government theatrics?
There is reason to believe that the most important factor in controlling the flood will not be how many rocks and sandbags the government can drop off onto the damaged flood, but rather it will be dependent on how much rain continues to fall on California. Indeed, it seems their actions are more for appearances than anything else.
As Mike Adams explains, it appears that the “emergency spillway” was comprised of nothing but dirt. Tens of millions of gallons of water can obviously push through dirt with ease. And as Adams says, after twelve years of warnings and doing nothing — now the government is pretending to do something by dropping rocks onto areas being rapidly eroded by the water.
“The gesture is nothing more than pure theater. You can’t stop a massive wall of earth from eroding by dropping large bags of rocks into the holes when the water keeps coming down. Every gallon of water will continue to eat away at the wall… the bags are a joke.”
The Health Ranger explains that these are the actions of a government engaged in what he calls “disaster theater,” with only the goal of keeping people calm in mind. Adams says this is just another form of mind control: give the people what they want to keep them calm, rather than let them see the real gravity of the situation. The rocks will not plug the hole in the emergency spillway: the current of water will simply push them away, or create new holes in the clearly weakened structure. The government knows this, but if they take no action at all, people will lose faith.
The Oroville Dam has the potential to become one of the worst disasters in U.S. history, and there is precious little the government can do to stop it now — but it could have been prevented, had officials heeded the warnings they were given years ago.