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California Sheriff to tourists and locals: This is not a drill – evacuate now

100,000 people including tourists left their home, hotel or lodge behind Sunday night on their desperate search for shelter to save their life.

100,000 people including tourists left their home, hotel or lodge behind Sunday night on their desperate search for shelter to save their life. The largest dam in the United States is about to collapse. America’s critical infrastructure: dams, bridges, & the grid is aging and woefully ignored.

It’s a tourist attraction in California, and it’s turning into a possible life-threatening experience for visitors and locals alike at this moment. Oroville Dam is the tallest and the largest earthen dam in the United States. Visitors can climb a 47-foot tower to view the lake and the Sutter Buttes.

The initial prediction held that the dam would fail within the hour; around 6:30 p.m California Time. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said they acted fast to rather be “safe than sorry.”

“DO NOT TRAVEL NORTH TOWARD OROVILLE,” the Yuba County Office of Emergency Services said on Facebook, urging evacuees to travel safely in all other directions and help the elderly.
The situation is turning from desperate to panic. It’s a tourist attraction in California, and it’s turning into a possible life-threatening experience for visitors and locals alike at this moment. Oroville Dam is the tallest and the largest earthen dam in the United States. Visitors can climb a 47-foot tower to view the lake and the Sutter Buttes.

The dam’s spillway was “predicted to fail within the next hour,” the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) said at around 4:30pm PST Sunday (00:30 GMT Monday).

“DO NOT TRAVEL NORTH TOWARD OROVILLE,” the Yuba County Office of Emergency Services said on Facebook, urging evacuees to travel safely in all other directions and help the elderly.

Thousands of people from Yuba County and Sutter County have been filmed being evacuated from local towns and communities, with vehicles creating long traffic jams.

The emergency is the first time in the 48-year-old dam’s history that an uncontrolled spillway is being used, local NBC affiliate KCRA-TV reported.



Heavy rains and snow that struck California this winter have resulted in the dam’s reservoir being filled up to the point of overspill. On Thursday, the works to release water from the dam began after chunks of concrete from the spillway were discovered in the channel below.
On Friday, only 7 feet (2 meters) were left until the dam was to reach its full capacity.

The DWR has been using the emergency spillway instead of the damaged one to release the water.