Two experts weighed in on the memos that the Board of Consultants assessing the current operations and future spillway options sent to the Department of Water Resources. … A former engineer who reviews disasters and a Chico State University engineering professor reviewed the memos and talked to this newspaper about their questions, comments and concerns.
Rivers were swift and wide this winter with heavy storms adding up to the wettest winter in 122 years. People who have lived in the Sacramento Valley for decades remember flooding from their youth, when towns were evacuated, homes were lost and topsoil washed away.
The beleaguered residents of Muir Beach will finally get some relief with the reopening of Highway 1 early next month. This winter’s storms made Highway 1 inaccessible in and out of Muir Beach, where the road literally slipped off and down the side of a hill.
For anyone who wants to get out on the Sacramento River and fish the section of water from Keswick Dam to Highway 44, time is running out. The California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday approved permanently closing that section of the river to all fishing from the beginning of April to the end of July every year.
Members of the state Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, at an hourlong oversight hearing on the Oroville crisis, questioned Secretary John Laird, the head of the Department of Water Resources and Natural Resources, on the specifications of the $275 million contract awarded earlier this month to Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb., to fix the dam’s two damaged spillways.
A pair of crippled spillways at Oroville Dam can be repaired in part by November, but a good deal of the work will probably have to be done after the next rainy season, according to reports by an independent panel of experts.
Local, state and federal officials over the years have launched numerous efforts to address the problems and avoid potential new ones like invasive mussels, with limited success. … Now, a bill sponsored by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, is offering new hope for lake improvements.
The damage has been done and the repair contract awarded. … How much will be the responsibility of homeowners, businesses, farmers and other customers of the more than two dozen local and regional agencies that contract with the State Water Project?
Official reports released Monday say the catastrophic damage to Oroville Dam’s main spillway probably stemmed from swift water flows under the concrete chute, which was cracked and of uneven thickness.
Responding to criticism about secrecy around the Oroville Dam repair effort, California officials released two redacted reports Monday from outside engineers consulting on plans to fix the dam’s battered spillways.
Citing the near disaster at Oroville Dam, a group of congressional Democrats is pushing the government’s watchdog agency to investigate federal oversight of dam safety regulations. … Separately, the California state Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Oroville next Tuesday [April 25].
Despite above average rainfall already measured this winter, Humboldt County residents should prepare for another week of dreary rain. “For Eureka the water year to date is 59.56 inches,” National Weather Service Eureka meteorologist Jonathan Garner said Sunday. “The normal is 36.01.”
The rains — the most during California’s rainy season since the state started keeping precipitation records nearly a century ago — overwhelmed the two rivers that converge on the northwest side of the city [of Sacramento], the Sacramento and the American. They ripped away the cloak of shrubbery along the rivers’ banks, forcing people camped there to move to more exposed ground.
Neighbors in west Redding held a community picnic to celebrate Mary Lake on Sunday. About two years ago, during the height of the drought, the lake was evaporating and neighbors agonized over its state.
The immediate reaction by many locals to news that Southern California is interested in Sites Reservoir might be the suspicion that there is a grab being made for Northern California water. … The truth is, in this case, if you’re a supporter of the proposed Sites off-stream reservoir, you should probably welcome interest by the Metropolitan Water district of Southern California.
A disaster expert’s review of the Oroville Dam spillway emergency says the Department of Water Resources could have prevented everything with better design, better construction and better maintenance. Robert Bea prepared the report published Monday.