Spillway shuts down

Oroville Dam spillway damaged, DWR shuts off water

The Department of Water Resources shut off the flow of water down the Oroville Dam spillway on Tuesday (Feb. 7) after a 250-foot pothole was discovered in the concrete chute. Engineers are investigating the problem, according to a press release.

The DWR said the concrete erosion presents “no anticipated threat to the dam or the public.” Lake Oroville has the capacity to capture the rain forecast to continue through the end of this week, the release notes. The reservoir can hold 3.5 million acre-feet of water and currently contains 2.8 million acre-feet. In other words, it’s about about 80 percent full.

In order to avoid a dramatic reduction in water releases to the Feather River, the DWR has increased flows from the Thermalito Afterbay, a small reservoir downstream from the Oroville Dam.