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OPINION: Spillway Bill Nears $1 Billion, Keeps Growing

The latest reckoning of the tab for the Oroville spillway crisis — the first update in many months — revealed an astonishing figure and proved how much the state has been trying to downplay the preventable disaster from the start. It almost provides a “we-told-you-so” moment. Lake Oroville’s regular spillway started falling apart almost a year ago, on Feb. 7. By Feb. 11, the lake was spilling over the top and running down a never-used emergency spillway.

California Bakes As Winter Temperatures Set New Records Across The State

Under a baking sun, Russell Neches peeled off his long-sleeved base layer to hit the ski slopes at Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort near Lake Tahoe. Early February should be the the dead of California’s winter, yet Neches was skiing in — and sweating through — his T-shirt. “As soon as there was sun, it was unbearably hot,” said the 37-year-old Oakland resident. Unseasonably warm and dry temperatures blanketed California over the weekend, shattering records across the state and bringing clear blue skies that were expected to linger through next weekend.

Water, Water Everywhere Can’t Quell A Western Drought

Many Western reservoirs are full, and downpours have triggered floods and deadly mudslides in parts of California. But all that water isn’t enough to save the West from another drought. Most of the region has slipped back into the drought conditions that have plagued it on and off for the past two decades—alarming water managers across several states. The dry conditions are fueling wildfires, threatening agriculture and hurting ski resorts.