California Gov. Jerry Brown asked President Trump on Friday to declare a major disaster in the state because of damage from a month of storms as more rain hit the south. Brown’s letter said a powerful series of January storms brought “relentless” rain and high winds that caused flooding, mudslides, evacuations, erosion, power outages and at least eight deaths. Northern California was hardest hit. Brown said the storm system was so severe and widespread that state and local governments need federal assistance to continue dealing with the problems it created.
Archive for date: February 11th, 2017
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Friday afternoon the sun peaked through the clouds above Lake Oroville and a rainbow arched over the Feather River. It was a welcome sight for state engineers who were battling the lake’s worrisome rise with torrential releases down the reservoir’s broken concrete spillway. The break in storms and a drop in the volume of water pouring into the huge reservoir gave dam operators hope that they could keep lake levels from hitting an elevation of 901 feet — the point at which uncontrolled flows would start washing down an unpaved emergency spillway that has never been used in Oroville’s 48-year history.
For the first time since Oroville Dam was completed in 1968, water from its storm-swollen reservoir overtopped the emergency spillway Saturday, sending sheets of water down a forested hillside and adding to the murk and debris churning in the Feather River below. State officials said they did not expect the flows to cause flooding in Oroville or other communities downstream, but the emergency releases underscored the perilous situation confronting the operators of California’s second-largest reservoir for the rest of this extraordinarily rainy winter.