Authorities: 'Still an emergency situation' in Oroville
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 12:52 -
Although citizens have returned to homes after an eruption in California's Oroville Dam, on Wednesday authorities warned that it is "still an emergency situation," as efforts continue to repair the damage.
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said, "It's important to remember that this is still an emergency situation."
Officials had ordered 188,000 people living down river from the Oroville Dam to evacuate on Sunday and reduced that to an evacuation warning on Tuesday.
Both the primary and backup drainage channels of the dam, known as spillways, were damaged by a buildup of water that resulted from an extraordinarily wet winter in Northern California that followed years of severe drought.
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The greater danger was posed by the emergency spillway, which was subject to urgent repairs in recent days. Though damaged, the primary spillway was still useable, officials said
Below: Spillway Aerial footage from Oroville Dam 2-10-17
Honey also warned citizens against using drones. "I understand the interest," he said. But he added, "You slow down the progress -- that's a threat to public safety. "
More rain was forecast for as early as Wednesday and through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, but the state Department of Water Resources said the upcoming storms were unlikely to threaten the emergency spillway.
President Donald Trump declared an emergency in the state, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate disaster relief efforts.