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Posts Tagged ‘Oroville Dam’


  • 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

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 

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 

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No matter what your particular political perspective is, if there is one thing that virtually everyone in the United States can agree upon it is the fact that America’s infrastructure is crumbling.

Previous generations of Americans conquered an entire continent and erected the greatest system of infrastructure that the world had ever seen, but now thousands upon thousands of those extremely impressive infrastructure projects are decades old and in desperate need of repair or upgrading.  The near catastrophic failure of the Oroville Dam is a perfect example of what I am talking about.  We should be constructing the next generation of infrastructure projects for our children and our grandchildren, but instead we are in such sorry shape that we can’t even keep up with the maintenance and upkeep on the great infrastructure projects that have been handed down to us.

Once upon a time nobody on the entire planet could even come close to matching our infrastructure, but now our crumbling infrastructure has become a joke to much of the rest of the industrialized world.  Sadly, this is just another symptom of our long-term economic collapse.  We simply are not able to put as much of our money toward infrastructure as previous generations of Americans did, and as a result we have a giant mess on our hands.  The following are 11 deeply alarming facts about America’s crumbling infrastructure…

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  • Crews have been filling cracks in Oroville Dam main spillway with concrete and hoping it will hold for years
  • They reported it as safe in several reports since 2009 before the dam threatened catastrophe last week
  • The enormous hole in the main chute compromised the dam’s drainage function as water in its reservoir rose
  • It forced engineers to turn to a never-before-used emergency spillway which buckled under the pressure 
  • The total cost of the damage, which engineers are now frantically fixing, is estimated to be $100million
  • Residents who had been evacuated were allowed home on Tuesday but must be ready to flee again
  • More rain and strong winds are on the way, threatening to fill the lake back up and hamper the repairs 

California dam cracks were repaired by 'patch and prey'

 

Engineers had been using ‘patch and pray’ techniques to repair California’s crumbling Oroville Dam before it threatened to collapse last week and sent the region into a panic.

Cracks in the main concrete spillway have been included in site reports since 2009 but crews have been using quick-fix concrete solutions to try to stop them from getting worse.

Engineering experts described the effort as a ‘patch and pray’ approach on Wednesday as the emergency situation in Oroville persisted.

200,000 people were suddenly evacuated on Sunday when the California Department of Water Resources dramatically announced that an emergency spillway at the dam was an hour away from collapse.

Since then, crews have been working round the clock to beef it back up by lining it with boulders and are racing against oncoming storms which may hamper their efforts.

Residents nervously returned home as the evacuation order was downgraded to a warning on Tuesday but they have been told to be ready to flee again at a moment’s notice if the volatile situation turns on its head again.

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California Oroville Dam officials were warned 12 years ago

Eerie images of drowned buildings (Riverbend Park pictured bottom-left and right) and ghost towns have emerged from the area below California’s crumbling Oroville Dam (pictured during dramatic overflow on Sunday, top-left) after hundreds of thousands were ordered to evacuate. And it might have been averted had feds and water agencies not ignored warnings 12 years ago that the 49-year-old structure was at risk of collapsing. It also appears that repairs on the massive dam – which was left falling apart after a surprise burst of heavy rainfall – were not earmarked in Governor Jerry Brown’s $100 billion list of key infrastructure projects this month. The rainfall that is expected Wednesday could pour into a gaping 250ft chasm in the concrete spillway, causing a collapse and unleashing a 30ft ‘tsunami’ tidal wave that could leave towns along a 40-mile stretch of the Feather River below the dam under 100ft of water. The situation is now so critical that President Trump is being urged to declare a disaster in Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties, where 200,000 people, including Department of Water staff, were frantically ordered to evacuate their homes and places of work on Sunday.

Eerie images of drowned buildings and ghost towns have emerged from the area below California‘s crumbling Oroville Dam after hundreds of thousands were ordered to evacuate.

And it might have been averted had federal officials and water agencies not ignored warnings 12 years ago that the 49-year-old structure was at risk of collapsing.

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Following a woefully belated response by California authorities’ to the dangerous situation unfolding at the Lake Oroville Dam in Northern California over the weekend, an evacuation order forcing some 200,000 people living below the tallest dam in the US remained in place early on Monday after residents were abruptly told to flee when a spillway appeared in danger of collapse.

The Oroville dam is nearly full following winter storms that brought relief to the state after four years of drought. Water levels were less than 7 feet (2 meters) from the top of the dam on Friday. State authorities and engineers on Thursday began releasing water from the dam after noticing that large chunks of concrete were missing from a spillway.

California Governor Jerry Brown asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday to declare the area a major disaster due to flooding and mudslides brought on by the storms.

MORE HERE

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