This is what happens when you ignore infrastructure.
At least 130,000 people downriver from Lake Oroville were asked to evacuate after authorities warned an emergency spillway in the country’s tallest dam was in danger of failing and unleashing uncontrolled flood waters on towns below.
The evacuation was ordered over concerns the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway could fail.
Over five hours later, hundreds of cars carrying panicked and angry people were sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Officials warned residents that the spillway could fail within an hour.
The cities of Oroville, Gridley, Live Oak, Marysville, Wheat land, Yuba City, Plumas Lake, and Olivehurst were all under evacuation orders.
Engineers spotted a hole that was eroding back toward the top of the spillway. The erosion at the head of the emergency spillway threatens to undermine the concrete weir and allow large, uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville.
Those potential flows could overwhelm the Feather River and other downstream waterways, channels and levees.
Read the whole story in the Press Democrat