OROVILLE (CBS13) — The City of Oroville is suing the state over losses from the Oroville Dam spillway emergency.

City officials will discuss the lawsuit during a briefing on Wednesday.

The city is looking to recover expenses and losses after the evacuation of more than 180,000 people over concerns the emergency spillway could fail.

Heavy rains last winter pushed Lake Oroville toward its capacity in early February. As the lake filled, the main spillway for the lake developed a crack that grew to a massive hole. As the hole grew, officials with the Department of Water Resources attempted to limit releases from the spillway, causing the lake to fill and the emergency spillway to be used for the first time.

On Feb. 12, after repeated reassurances from the state and a day after the emergency spillway was first put into use, officials called for the evacuation of 180,000 residents over fears the emergency spillway could fail and send a rush of water through the region.

The city is expected to contend the design of the original spillway, as well as a lack of subsequent proper maintenance, led to the emergency.


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