7:30  p.m. UPDATE: Water officials say there is not a threat to the public from the spillway damage, and it will be assessed on Wednesday.

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OROVILLE (CBS13) – Unexpected damage to the Oroville Dam spillway has prompted officials to stop water releases.

Operators increased their water releases at the dam on Tuesday as a significant storm rolled through Northern California. However, as peak water releases started happening around noon, people started noticing some concerning signs.

KHSL-TV reports witnesses saw chunks of cement coming off the spillway.

The Department of Water Resources says it’s investigating concrete erosion at the base of the spillway and halted releases at around noon on Tuesday.

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Recent releases have made enough room for this week’s predicted rain, and officials say there’s no structural threat to the dam itself.

Witnesses who posted video to Youtube from the scene saw pieces of concrete being washed away.

“We were just alerted by officials to not be here because there seems to be an issue with the spillway,” the witness says in the video. “This is not normal.”


Operators have stopped the releases.

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More information to come.