Lake Oroville Spillway Destruction Revealed

Lake Oroville Spillway Destruction Revealed

After years of drought, California experienced heavy rain last month causing a crisis at the 770 foot high Lake Oroville Dam (the tallest in the U.S).

Inflow into the lake increased 100,000 cubic feet per second overnight (that is almost 750,000 gallons per second, nearly 2.7 billion gallons an hour) and an evacuation was issued for residents down-river as Engineers spotted headward erosion of the emergency spillway which threatened to undermine and collapse the concrete weir.

A disaster like this could have sent a 30-footwall of water into the Feather River below and flooded communities downstream.

Despite the damage the weir held, and now the crisis has passed the Department of Water Resources has released amazing footage of the significant damage the main spillway suffered.

The crisis is now been investigated by five independent engineering experts to understand the cause of the main spillway’s failure.

The newly released footage is a reminder of the incredible forces that Engineers must deal with and the importance of their roles in maintaining large scale infrastructure projects across the world.

Wikipedia has a fantastic breakdown of the Oroville Dam crisis, the history of the project and the ongoing investigation into it.

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