City Hall

Oroville Reservoir update: Sacramento not in imminent danger of flooding from erosion of dam’s auxiliary spillway

The auxiliary spillway at Oroville Reservoir is intact.  Per State Department of Water Resources (DWR), it is not expected to fail.

In a conversation this morning with California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, Mayor Steinberg was reassured that Sacramento is not at risk of flooding from an eroded auxiliary spillway upstream at the Oroville Reservoir. Laird stated that if there was a breach in the auxiliary spillway, water would take 30 plus hours to reach Sacramento and would be controlled with the Sacramento River’s channels and associated weirs.

DWR has stated that 37,000 cubic feet per second of water is entering the reservoir with releases from the primary spillway (the one damaged last week) at 100,000 cubic feet per second to lower the level of lake. Lake Oroville is lowering at approximately 4 inches per hour. The aim is to lower the lake level to between 30 and 50 feet below the dam. As of 11 a.m., the level is 5 feet below the top of the auxiliary spillway.

State Water Resources is currently preparing to use helicopters to place rocks at the eroded auxiliary spillway.

Evacuation orders are still in place in Butte, Sutter and Yuba Counties in addition to the cities in the region. The Butte County Sheriff’s Department stated that the situation remains dynamic and the evacuation order remains in place until further notice. Cal Expo opened this morning with Red Cross staffing. They are not asking for donations at this time.

The City’s Emergency Operations Center is coordinating with County emergency staff to monitor the weather. Stay tuned to City Express for any further updates.

Flood Ready Information:

Sacramento is part of a natural floodplain and uses levees and sophisticated drainage systems to protect the City from the waters of American and Sacramento Rivers and local creeks and streams. Visit the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities to learn about flood plain information, flood protection, flood warning systems, and more.

Helpful Links:

Floodplain Information

Flood Maps

Flood Insurance

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