Inside a cavernous northern Utah warehouse, hydraulic engineers send water rushing down a replica of a dam built out of wood, concrete and steel – trying to pinpoint what repairs will work best at the tallest dam in the U.S for a spillway torn apart in February during heavy rains that triggered the evacuation of 200,000 people living downstream.
The flooding is the result of more than a week of high temperatures that have rapidly melted mountain snow, filling Pine Flat Reservoir and prompting the Army Corps of Engineers to send a surge of water into the Kings River to make room for more runoff behind the dam. The river surge tested levees along the Kings in a way some residents has never expected.
Water releases from Pine Flat Dam were ratcheted up Thursday as federal officials worked to prevent the reservoir from overtopping the dam. … Crews from Kings County and the Kings River Conservation District responded to a small breach in a levee on the south fork of the Kings River between Grangville and Highway 198.
Bioswale projects on medians and other surfaces along a handful of the east San Fernando Valley’s major roadways could be pulling double-duty soon to help conserve rainwater, while adding more greenery, thanks in part to a $4 million grant from the state’s coastal and waterway conservancy.
Work at the Oroville Dam will carry on in spite of the 110 degree-plus temperatures anticipated this week. There are protections in place for construction employees with the contractor, Kiewit, and concrete has to undergo a cooling techniques to be able to keep applying it, said Jeff Petersen, the company’s project director in a press conference call Wednesday morning.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has designated Camp Far West Reservoir a “high and significant hazard dam” that should have a “focused spillway assessment” this year. … The 170-foot-high Camp Far West Dam on the Bear River in Nevada, Yuba and Placer counties holds about 94,000 acre-feet of water.
The rush of workers and heavy machinery to the shore of Lake Oroville is so vast and unfamiliar it’s fanning rumors across this rural region that the ruckus couldn’t just be for a historic dam repair. … But as state officials gave The Chronicle a tour last week of the construction site, they said the effort was both extensive and relatively straightforward.
Fresh off the Oroville Dam crisis, California lawmakers on Thursday voted to make dam-safety plans secret through language that was quietly inserted into a budget-related bill. The legislation, which requires Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature before becoming law, says emergency action plans at dams would be kept confidential to “protect public safety.”
Monitor, patch, watch and then monitor. … Nearly 200,000 evacuees downstream of Oroville Dam witnessed how this failed government approach can impact their lives. My [Assemblyman James Gallagher] review of inspection reports shows a pattern of monitoring, delayed action and patchwork maintenance at Oroville Dam, including painting cracks to track their growth.
Ross Valley’s controversial flood fee was hiked 3 percent Tuesday, helping pay for a public relations campaign smoothing the waters for projects that will turn key park areas into flood retention basins.
If 200-year flood protection isn’t secured — or at least a financial and implementation plan in place by July 1, 2016 — development of the Great Wolf Resort and family entertainment zone, The Trails at Manteca, and other residential projects in southwest Manteca won’t take place.
“By recycling more water, capturing storm runoff and boosting efficiency on farms and at home, California would have more than enough water to cover its needs, even during a drought, the authors of a new report said Tuesday.”
“When Rosalinda Cardenas was a kid, her parents warned her often: Stay away from the Pacoima Wash. A few blocks from her home on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, the concrete-encased flood control channel was barricaded by rusty chain-link fences, broken glass and garbage.”
“The House of Representatives, on a vote of 412-4, approved legislation to move an array of Sacramento-area flood control projects forward, concluding [Rep. Doris] Matsui’s nearly four-year quest for the bill.”