California Dam Outflow to be Stopped 02/27 05:41
California water authorities will stop the outflow from the Oroville Dam's
crippled spillway to allow workers to remove debris blocking a hydroelectric
plant from working, officials said Sunday.
OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) --- California water authorities will stop the outflow
from the Oroville Dam's crippled spillway to allow workers to remove debris
blocking a hydroelectric plant from working, officials said Sunday.
The Department of Water Resources said it will start gradually reducing
outflows from the Northern California dam beginning Monday morning and
completely halt them by the afternoon.
The outflow from behind the 770-foot-tall dam will be stopped for several
days to allow workers to clear concrete, silt and other debris from a pool at
the bottom of the spillway. Removing the debris will protect a shuttered
underground hydroelectric plant and allow it to eventually resume operations,
the agency said.
"Once operational, the Hyatt Power Plant can discharge roughly 14,000 cubic
feet per second, which will allow DWR to better manage reservoir levels through
the remaining spring runoff season," it said.
The reservoir's water level has been reduced nearly 60 feet since it reached
capacity at 901 feet earlier this month, the department said.
The department said it will continue releasing 50,000 cubic feet of water
per second the rest of Sunday and overnight. With inflows of water at only
25,000 cubic feet of water per second, more space will be made at the reservoir
before the outflows are cut on Monday.
On Feb. 11, water managers used the emergency spillway for the first time in
the dam's 48-year-history after a chunk of concrete tore out the main spillway,
creating a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep crater. But the flow of water ripped
through a road below and carved out deep chasms in the ground, leading
authorities to order a two-day evacuation of 188,000 people for fear the
emergency spillway could fail.
Since then, crews have been working to fortify the badly eroded emergency