Oroville Dam & Disaster Preparedness
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Thread: Oroville Dam & Disaster Preparedness

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Oroville Dam & Disaster Preparedness

    Yesterday, at 4:40PM, the California Department of Water Resources posted the following message on Facebook and informed law enforcement:

    EMERGENCY EVACUATION ORDER ISSUED: Officials are anticipating a failure of the Auxiliary Spillway at Oroville Dam within the next 60 minutes.
    Residents of Oroville should evacuate in a northward direction, toward Chico. Other cities should follow the orders of their local law enforcement.
    As a result, at least 188,000 people living downstream of California's Oroville Dam were ordered to evacuate. The situation was not as dire as feared and the risk of an immediate breach of the auxiliary spillway is now lower. It could go higher again with the rain later this week. A breach would release about 30 feet of water depth of the Lake Oroville, which is 25 square miles big.

    Apart from the discussion of poor maintenance of our nation's infrastructure, this ongoing crisis also offers insight into disaster preparedness. Realize that the evacuees won't be able to go back to their homes for a week or two if nothing happens. If there is a breach, then property left behind may be lost forever. Are you prepared to leave your home at a moment's notice and take all your important possessions with you? Do you have a bug-out bag? Do you have enough gas in your tank?

    Oroville Dam & Disaster Preparedness-wzalyqv.jpg

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  3. #2
    Anyone who lives downhill and downstream from a dam has no choice but to bug out.

    In that case you can bug out to a motel somewhere uphill and all you need to do is pack your bags and go.

    I would bring clothing, clean up gear, valuables, papers, guns, and some ammo.

    The key is to get going.

    If Oroville Dam bursts there will be a 30 foot high wave rolling all the way downstream.

    I have hiked those trails and it is beautiful country.

    Time for a bath though.

  4. #3
    Do you know that the EPA told CA 10 years ago that this dam needed MAJOR repairs and CA chose to spend the money on BS projects for the illegal aliens instead?
    The only easy day was yesterday
    Dedicated to my brother in law who died
    doing what he loved being a Navy SEAL

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by opsspec1991 View Post
    Do you know that the EPA told CA 10 years ago that this dam needed MAJOR repairs and CA chose to spend the money on BS projects for the illegal aliens instead?
    They reported this on the PBS News Hour tonight.

    Nobody in California thought (no pun intended) that the winter rains would be this bad.

    Same thing as happened in the Midwest river floodings not long ago.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by opsspec1991 View Post
    Do you know that the EPA told CA 10 years ago that this dam needed MAJOR repairs and CA chose to spend the money on BS projects for the illegal aliens instead?
    You mean the EPA that has a professional expertise in creating spills and that President Trump wants to dismantle? Those pesky environmentalists actually complained about the structural issues with the dam's emergency spillway earlier. From Oroville Dam: Feds and state officials ignored warnings 12 years ago:

    Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.

    The groups filed the motion with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They said that the dam, built and owned by the state of California, and finished in 1968, did not meet modern safety standards because in the event of extreme rain and flooding, fast-rising water would overwhelm the main concrete spillway, then flow down the emergency spillway, and that could cause heavy erosion that would create flooding for communities downstream, but also could cause a failure, known as “loss of crest control.”

    “A loss of crest control could not only cause additional damage to project lands and facilities but also cause damages and threaten lives in the protected floodplain downstream,” the groups wrote.

    FERC rejected that request, however, after the state Department of Water Resources, and the water agencies that would likely have had to pay the bill for the upgrades, said they were unnecessary. Those agencies included the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to 19 million people in Los Angeles, San Diego and other areas, along with the State Water Contractors, an association of 27 agencies that buy water from the state of California through the State Water Project. The association includes the Metropolitan Water District, Kern County Water Agency, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Alameda County Water District.

    Federal officials at the time said that the emergency spillway was designed to handle 350,000 cubic feet per second and the concerns were overblown.

    “It is important to recognize that during a rare event with the emergency spillway flowing at its design capacity, spillway operations would not affect reservoir control or endanger the dam,” wrote John Onderdonk, a senior civil engineer with FERC, in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s San Francisco Office, in a July 27, 2006, memo to his managers.

    “The emergency spillway meets FERC’s engineering guidelines for an emergency spillway,” he added. “The guidelines specify that during a rare flood event, it is acceptable for the emergency spillway to sustain significant damage.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by bofh View Post
    . . .

    Apart from the discussion of poor maintenance of our nation's infrastructure, this ongoing crisis also offers insight into disaster preparedness. Realize that the evacuees won't be able to go back to their homes for a week or two if nothing happens. If there is a breach, then property left behind may be lost forever. Are you prepared to leave your home at a moment's notice and take all your important possessions with you? Do you have a bug-out bag? Do you have enough gas in your tank?
    We evacuated for Hurricane Floyd. We had a couple days notice, not a moment's notice, and it still wasn't enough time. We spent over 24 hours on the road, bumper-to-bumper traffic, until we got to our motel in Tennessee. That was the closest motel vacancy we could get when we made reservations the day prior to leaving home. Some people never did leave Charleston. They were stuck in traffic for so long that they had to turn back. This, mind you, is even with all the highway lanes reversed to lead out of town.

    Yes, you need to keep gassed up. When the balloon goes up, you will not be able to get gas. The 24 hours we were on the road there were almost no gas stations or rest stops available. (Bring something for a potty.)

    When we left our house, I fully expected it to be gone when we returned. I gave it one last look and actually said, "Good-bye house." We took our valuable papers, a few sentimental items, clothing, toiletries, personal items, and some food/drinks. In our group we had Hubby and me with two Labs and two cats, our daughter and her husband and two boys, and her mother-in-law.

    Evacuating is a nightmare that I hope to never repeat.

    BTW, the storm turned at the end and didn't destroy our area after all.

    We do keep go bags and our important papers ready to go but I hope we never have to use them. I know realistically that if an immediate evacuation was required for our area it would be impossible to get out in any short time.

    The other aspect of natural disaster (we stayed and experienced the full force and fury of Hurricane Hugo) or massive evacuation is what happens after. Residents aren't always allowed to go home immediately. The government controls access and sets up curfews. Been there, done that--it's no fun.

    I feel bad for people who have to evacuate for wildfires and floods. They have it a lot worse than we did.

  10. #9
    Mother Nature is a b!tch. Always has been. Always will be.

    And it does not help when humans build towering edifices with inherent hazards in them either.

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