OROVILLE (KPIX 5) — Two years after the crisis in Oroville, the dam’s reconstructed spillway may be nearing its first test.
“Assuming mother nature keeps putting down a lot of precip and snowpack, there’s a chance the season, certainly,” said Erin Mellon, a spokesperson with the California Department of Water Resources.
With Lake Oroville finally creeping back towards capacity, DWR is again watching the math that flows down the Feather River. That’s the rain and snowmelt moving into the lake, and the water can can be moved out of it.
“Right now, we are actually releasing from Hyatt Tower plant at about 5000 ft.³ per second,” Mellon explained of the flows currently being allowed downstream. But while the hydro plant is humming, another atmospheric river over this region could quickly shift attention to the newly-constructed spillway.