“It’s uncontrolled. It’s uncontrolled.”
Fearing a gush from Lake Oroville if the emergency spillway collapses, officials are releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main, heavily damaged spillway in a frantic effort to drain the lake below where it spills out the emergency structure when the lake reaches maximum capacity, said Kevin Dossey, an engineer and Department of Water Resources spokesman.
The levee-line downstream channels in the Feather River could hold more than 150,000 cubic feet per second, said Maury Roos, a DWR hydrologist, but he said there’s a possibility that a levee could breach from the pressure.
Roos said that below where the Feather River merges with the Yuba River, levees are rated for a capacity of around 300,000 cfs.
When asked how much water could be released should the spillway collapse, DWR spokesman Chris Orrock said, “It’s uncontrolled. It’s uncontrolled.”
Dossey said the emergency spillway was rated to handle 250,000 cubic feet per second, but it began to show weakness Sunday at a small fraction of that. Flows through the spillway peaked at 12,600 cfs at 1 a.m. Sunday and were down to 8,000 cfs by midday. (Click to Article)