Oroville, California February 11, 2017 – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) said the auxiliary spillway at Lake Oroville started spilling water at 8:00 am today. This occurred when the lake level exceeded 901 feet elevation above sea level.
DWR officials said the flow over the auxiliary spillway will range between 5,000 and 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). This will combine with the flow from the primary spillway, which is currently at 55,000 cfs, and this will result in a total flow to the Feather River between 60,000 to 70,000 cfs.
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This flow to the Feather River is expected to be about half the downstream flood system capacity and consistent with releases made at this time of year in wet years such as this.
The volume of water is expected to pose no flood threat downstream and should remain well within the capacity of the Feather River and other channels to handle. Oroville Dam itself remains safe and there is no imminent threat to the public.
DWR and CAL FIRE crews in past days have been clearing trees and brush from the path water is taking in the auxiliary spillway, which is an unlined hillside. The auxiliary spillway flows are expected to wash soil and debris into the Feather River.
Lake Conditions including lake levels, inflows, and outflow can be obtained at: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/resDetailOrig.action?resid=ORO.