10 thoughts on “Oroville”

  1. They could fill the hole with gravel and put a rebar webbing over the top then put plastic down over the entire spillway. Do a real fix in a month or two.

  2. Lame. But can’t say I didn’t expect this sort of incompetence. Kudos to the guy who reported the problem before it became major and shame on them for not fixing it properly.

    They kept moaning about the drought so I hope they ‘ll stop moaning about the weather now. But that would probably be too much to hope for.

    1. They have known about the initial crack for more than 10 years, and the major fault since 2013….

      Probably Arnolds fault

  3. “Funny, I don’t recall a nuclear plant ever having that kind of widespread effect.”

    I must not understand what you are saying.

    Three Mile Island: 140,000 voluntarily evacuated
    Chernobyl: 115,000 people mandatorily evacuated at first, 220,000 more later.
    Fukushima: 470,000 people mandatorily evacuated.

    1. https://training.fema.gov/hiedu/downloads/ijems/articles/evacuation%20behavior%20at%20three%20mile%20island.%20robert%20stallings.pdf

      Voluntarily evacuated? Is that like candidate Mitt Romney’s “self deported.”

      There was no evacuation at Three Mile Island as the term is understood in the context of the Oroville dam. There was only entertainer Richard Benjamin from the SNL skit “The Pepsi Syndrome” reassuring people that “The radiation is minimal. It is only like getting a chest x-ray. And another. And another. And another one after that.”

      People living in the area took a holiday despite those reassurances and in the absence of anyone ordering them to leave.

  4. The emergency spillway was designed during the Kennedy administration. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the original plans had it either paved or at least rip-rapped. It’s the sort of thing that wouldn’t have been done until the dam was done and starting to fill. It’s such a basic thing, the size of rock to resist erosion from water moving at a given velocity is so well established, that it’s hard to imagine anything else. The hand waving in 2005 must have been epic.

    It was purest luck that they were able to lower the water level enough to prevent a breach. Normally, the only time it would come into use would be when the flood gates were inoperable or the incoming flow was more than they could handle. They’re probably still only a couple of heavy storms from losing the whole dam.

    The spillway looks to be around 2 feet of concrete. Once the earth under it gave way the water did the rest, just like any other pot hole. Again, this is so basic, you have to shake your head that a crack was allowed to exist.

    One more thing to add to the list with the Bay Bridge and the Leaning Tower of San Francisco. All caused by overlooking long established engineering principles.

    The Minneapolis bridge shows that this isn’t confined to California, as much as some of us would like to believe.

  5. So apparently back in 2012 Cali change the Dam from Flood Control / Hydro-Electric to Reservoir holding. Mind you this was apparently without any re-engineering to meet the changed requirements.

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