A new report has revealed that, of the over 1,200 California dams, only the Oroville Dam is listed with an unsatisfactory safety rating. This is the second year in a row that the dam has scored an unsatisfactory rating, since the spillway collapse in February of 2017.
According to KCRA3, the Division of Safety of Dams in the Department of Water Resources reported that the spillway of the Oroville Dam is still an active problem and cause for safety concern, which led to its ‘unsatisfactory’ rating. Tuesday saw a flurry of activity at the dam, as workers continued their reconstruction of the dam spillway that collapsed and led to the mass evacuation of nearly 180,000 people last February. Erin Mellon, a spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources commented on the construction, saying: “We will have all structural concrete in place by November 1st on the main spillway.”
The continued unsatisfactory rating of the dam has raised concerns for the people of Oroville. “Businesses are concerned with getting on with business,” said the CEO of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, Eric Smith. “And folks are wanting to get on and feel they can live safely in their homes.” Others, like Oroville native, Jessica Campostrini, have voiced have voiced frustration, saying: “We pay taxes in order to have things like this fixed and taken care of.”
The Department of Water Resources has projected that the spillway reconstruction will see major improvements by November 1. This statement has alleviated some concerns from the public, and the DWR believes that the next safety report will show the Oroville Dam back in the satisfactory category.
To learn more about the progress and the reconstruction of the Oroville Dam spillway, click here.