Nearly overnight, the Oroville Dam in California gained worldwide attention when authorities evacuated nearby towns, affecting nearly 200,000 people, over fears that the emergency spillway was in danger of failing.
"It's the first time it's ever taken water", he said of the emergency spillway.
Sheets of water began spilling over the dam's emergency spillway for the first time in its 50-year history after unexpected erosion crumbled through the main spillway earlier this week, sending chunks of concrete flying.
A massive hole has formed in the dam's spillway, and experts estimate fix costs could reach $200 million. Officials said they plan to use bags of rocks to plug the hole in the emergency spillway, but the situation is still precarious.
They remain in shelters as engineers worked to shore up a crumbling overflow channel and drain the rain-swollen reservoir at the United States' tallest dam before new storms sweep the region.
The main spillway was releasing water at 100,000 cubic feet per second Monday afternoon in an effort to reduce the amount of water traveling down the emergency spillway, Croyle said.
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Nine people and three dogs are now sharing her fiance's home in Foothills where she's riding out the evacuation order. Water levels have since receded below the reservoir's capacity and have stopped entering the emergency spillway.
Still, evacuation orders remained in place. "Officials are aggressively attempting to lower Lake Oroville's water levels, as another atmospheric river storm system is scheduled to arrive within 48 hours", Brown wrote.
In the filing, the water agencies told federal regulators that environmentalists and local officials did not show that the emergency spillway posed a public risk. Jerry Brown's request for emergency funding for 10,000 evacuees who lived in the shadow of the Oroville Dam, FEMA began preparing for the worse. The Department of Water Resources is hoping that it will be back in full working condition by October 2017.
Residents of Oroville, a town of 16,000 people 65 miles (105km) north of Sacramento, were told to head north.
Other areas now being evacuated include Marysville, Hallwood, Olivehurst, Gridley, Live Oak, Wheatland, Yuba City and Yuba County.