Flooding Strikes California

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

After a five year drought, California is receiving more rain that it can handle. In fact, there has been so much rain in northern California that the water level in Lake Oroville has risen significantly. This caused water to overflow and flood over the emergency spillways and with the water flowing over the spillway, a hole has formed from erosion near the wall. If the erosion reaches it, the entire wall could collapse, causing millions of gallons of water to flood the surrounding area. This has brought great concern and led to the call for nearby towns to be immediately evacuated, almost 200,000 residents left their homes and fled to safer grounds.

In the past few days, state officials and the Oroville Dam workers have done everything that they can to try to minimize the flooding. They have intentionally released water from the lake to drop the level of it, and have begun to patch up the erosion with cement and rocks. These attempts to reduce the risk are helping and the locals should be excited, however there is a storm on the way that might cause problems with the lake and the damaged dam. This storm approaching could cause the same type of problems with the dam that the last one caused Residents should still take cover for the time being due to this storm, as it imposes a major threat.

Hopefully with the worst of it behind them, Californians can look to resolve the problem at hand. This flood has been a major wake-up call to the state about the current state of the Oroville dam. Renovations should be made to the dam to improve the almost fifty-year-old structure. The dam should be ready to endure these types of storms and should have more features that serve as insurances. For the time being, the problem with the incoming storm needs to be resolved before any permanent adjustments can be made. Even though, the current crisis was averted, the dam needs to be updated to ensure that this problem will not happen again.

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