Monday, February 13, 2017

California Dam Could Collapse

California was suffering through the worst drought ever for the past decade.  And now the rain and snow started and its the most rain they have ever had.

The tallest dam in America is in California and they just evacuated a few hundred thousand people as the emergency spillway seems to be eroding at an alarming rate and more rain is on the way.

They are using helicopters to drop rocks into the massive hole....but that might just be "government theater".  A few rocks can't possible stop trillions of gallons of water pouring down a hillside at 60 mph.

The Oroville dam in central California is on the verge of failing, and an emergency order issued by the Butte County Sheriff’s Department ordered an evacuation yesterday. The order affected at least 188,000 people, and when they all tried to evacuate at the same time, something happened that should alarm anyone living in a high population density area: The traffic jammed up the highways for hours, proving that people living below the dam’s massive wall — it’s the tallest dam in America — have no practical means of escape in an emergency.

“The erosion at the head of the emergency spillway threatens to undermine the concrete weir and allow large, uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville,” reports a local CBS News affiliate.

But another large storm is in the forecast, and it could dump tens of millions of gallons of additional water into the reservoir held back by the dam. “A new storm system forecast for later this week put water officials on a race against time,” reports the LA Times. “The biggest concern was that a hillside that keeps water in Lake Oroville — California’s second largest reservoir — would suddenly crumble Sunday afternoon, threatening the lives of thousands of people by flooding communities downstream.”

According to a local CBS story, “Panicked and angry residents sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic hours after the evacuation order was given.”

Even more, the gridlock meant supplies couldn’t be brought to residents, either. Also from CBS News:

A Red Cross spokeswoman said more than 500 people were at an evacuation center in Chico, California. The shelter had run out of blankets and cots, and a semi-tractor trailer with 1,000 more cots was stuck in the gridlock of traffic fleeing the potential flooding, said Red Cross shelter manager Pam Deditch.

If you’ll notice, California’s incompetent government is actually making the argument for personal preparedness. And if you don’t have a bugout plan to escape high density population centers, you’ll not really prepared at all.

“More than a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California’s largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 185,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe,” reports the Mercury News.

It turns out that the emergency spillway — get this — is nothing but bare earth! Now, you don’t have to be a genius to realize that a massive amount of water surging over en emergency spillway onto bare earth is going to chew up that dirt and erode it almost instantly. In the same way that a garden hose on full blast can cut ravines in a sand box, tens of millions of gallons of water colliding with dirt is obviously going to tear that dirt to shreds.

California’s incompetent government was warned about this twelve years ago… and they did nothing. As the Mercury News reports:
Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.


It's interesting to me that this news article is explaining the power of water and its capacity to carve massive ravines in seconds....but I'm going to bet these same folks don't realize they are actually making a case for HOW Noah's flood could have carved out the Grand Canyon in a matter of minutes when thousands of feet of water depth drained off earth and went back into the springs of the deep.


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