- Authorities stopped flow to the spillway after Oroville Lake water levels dropped, starting clean-up process
- It revealed gaping hole and entire edge missing from the spillway, which takes water down from top of dam
- Huge piles of grey rubble lie at the bottom of the spillway, which barges and excavators are now removing
- Comes after nearly 200,000 people were evacuated from homes when the waterway broke earlier this month
The true extent of the damage to the crumbling Oroville Dam spillway was revealed this week as authorities shut off the water flow and exposed the gaping hole left by the erosion.
Authorities this week started the huge clean-up process, with tons of rubble needing to be removed from the bottom of the spillway in order to get the Hyatt hydro-electric power plant back in operation.
Up to a million cubic yards of debris from the crumbling, concrete chute that takes water down from the top of the dam will need to be removed by barges and excavators over the next seven days.
The damage to the water chute means that the water is not flowing fast enough to clear any of the rubble from the plunge pool at the bottom.
Oroville Dam’s crippled spillway is inspected via helicopter after it was shut off Monday, with the reduced water levels revealing the true extent of the damage. When the authorities shut off the water supply from the spillway, it revealed for the first time the gaping hole in the concrete passage that could cost hundreds of millions to fix
A bird’s eye view taken on Monday shows the massive pile of grey rubble that has settled at the bottom of the spillway. Because of the damage, the water flow is not fast enough to clear any of the rubble when it reaches the bottom