OROVILLE (CBS13) — As crews rush to make repairs at the collapsed Oroville Dam spillway, California is borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars to get them done.
For now, the state has taken out a loan and is hoping to recoup a bulk of the cost, but there will be some leftover debt that could fall on the folks who rely on water from the Oroville Dam most.
Eighty-nine days into the Oroville Dam crisis, the California Department of Water Resources confirms it will now be half a billion dollars more in debt as it gets ready for further repairs.
On Monday, the department confirmed to CBS13 that it has taken out a line of credit, borrowing $500 million to fix the damaged spillway. So far, $67 million of that has already been used.
President Donald Trump declared a major emergency, opening up the doors to federal assistance. According to The Sacramento Bee, the state will still seek reimbursement from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency- for 75 percent of the cost of the dam’s permanent repairs. The rest of the money would be paid for by water customers- mostly agri-businesses and water users in Southern California- not state taxpayers.
On Tuesday, crews are expected to blow up a portion of exposed rock to improve access to the main spillway.