Final Verdict on Oroville Dam: ‘Long-Term Systemic Failure’ at the State

Citing a “long-term systemic failure” at the California Department of Water Resources, independent forensic investigators released their final report Friday on the nearly-catastrophic emergency last February at Oroville Dam. In a 584-page report on the disaster at America’s tallest dam, the investigative team blamed a “complex interaction of relatively common physical, human, organizational and industry factors” for the failure of the dam’s main flood-control spillway Feb. 7. The giant crater that erupted in the concrete chute set off a slow-motion emergency that culminated five days later with the evacuation of 188,000 downstream residents.