Oroville Dam Failure Imminent: Emergency Evacuation Ordered Downstream

Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway

The California Department of Water Resources has issued an evacuation notice for residents of Orville, California. Officials are warning that the Emergency Spillway portion of the Oroville Dam could fail at any moment.

The Butte County Sheriff’ Office released the following statement on Facebook:

This is an evacuation order.

Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered.

A hazardous situation is developing with the Oroville Dam auxiliary spillway. Operation of the auxiliary spillway has lead to severe erosion that could lead to a failure of the structure. Failure of the auxiliary spillway structure will result in an uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville. In response to this developing situation, DWR is increasing water releases to 100,000 cubic feet per second.

Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered.

This in NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill.

Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway was activated on Saturday morning after the Dam’s normal spillway suffered a catastrophic breakdown earlier in the week.

Oroville Spillway Damage

The Sacramento Bee quoted California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesperson Mike Smith: “What they’re expecting is as much as 30 vertical feet of the top of the spillway could fail and could fail within one to two hours. We don’t know how much water that means, but we do know that’s potentially 30 feet of depth of Lake Oroville.”

A Flash Flood Warning has been issued downstream of Lake Oroville.

Locations impacted include: Oroville, Palermo, Gridley, Thermalito, South Oroville, Oroville Dam, Oroville East and Wyandotte.

The following cities in Yuba County are under evacuation orders:

  • Marysville
  • Hallwood
  • Ollivehurst
  • Plumas Lake
  • Wheatland

In Sutter County, an immediate evacuation has been ordered for Live Oak, Yuba City, Nicolaus and all communities Feather River Yuba City basin, officials tweeted.

Possible Inundation Areas:

Oroville Inundation Areas
Officials say they have no idea what will happen if the emergency spillway collapses, but CalFire has maps that show what would happen if Oroville Dam were to suffer a massive breach. CalFire maps show what would happen during a catastrophic breach and are not necessarily indicative of what could happen during a collapse of the spillway. That being said, anyone in these zones should be aware of the danger and take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones. Remember, the spillway is an essential part of the Dam structure.

This is Why You Need to Have an Evacuation Plan!

There are currently over 160,000 people sitting directly in the flood zone, waiting in traffic to flee the area. The government knew this was a possibility days ago, but waited until the last minute to issue any kind of warning. For them to issue a warning saying that failure could come in 60 minutes is beyond negligent!

For those in the danger zone, GET OUT NOW!

For everyone else reading the article, this is why I always tell you to listen to your gut and make sure YOU HAVE AN EVACUATION PLAN! If you wait for the government to issue an evacuation notice, there is a good chance you might be too late.

The U.S has over 85,000 dams, many of which have been deemed deficient high-hazard dams because of their age and deteriorating condition.


  1. Jack
    February 12, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Interesting..Energ Notice should have been given last night by the eng not one hr before failure. Engineering should be put on notice really bad situation if loss of life is experienced..Jk Missouri

    • m
      February 12, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Trump has said this all along! Failing infrastructure while Obama sat around smoking about climate change….

      • Janice Campbell
        February 13, 2017 at 7:20 am

        Climate change is the reason this is happening!

        • LB
          February 13, 2017 at 10:39 am

          You are pathetic. This is not climate change. I lived in California for 50+ years and every 10 years or so California gets these really bad tropical storms. I helped fill sand bags when the Consumnes river over flowed in the 80’s as a college student. This is no more than the failure of the state government under Gov Moonbeam that these infrastructures fail.

        • Karl
          February 18, 2017 at 3:53 am

          Good one! I can never remember good jokes, but I will write this one down.

      • Bob
        February 13, 2017 at 12:14 pm

        To ‘m’ are you THAT STUPID that you would expect your country to even have the capability to fix 85thousand dams in 8 years? Quit crying like a baby about your former president and start acting like an American!!.. Oh wait.. YOU ARE you crybaby twit

  2. Anita Zierman
    February 12, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Unfortunately another incident we can blame our illustrious Gov Brown for. If he had spent CA funds years ago to build reservoirs and repair dams, instead of catering to special interests, we would have water for use in homes rather than possible homes under water. Oh, yes, but we will have a choo choo train for the homeless.

    • m
      February 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      And a bullet train between Fresno and Bakersfield – wonder how many pockets were lined…Trump Trump Trump. Vote out the silly ideolistic democrats with their millions of taxpayers dollars to spend on new potties…

    • William Wilson
      February 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Right on!!!! You are preaching to the choir. It’s similar to the levies that broke in New Orleans. They had the money for the upkeep and maintenance but chose to spend the money on something else. When will they realize it’s not spending problem it’s a paying for problem. If California would run its budget like the working class and realize that you have a certain amount of money and when it’s gone you can’t keep buying shit and funding the all of the nonessential programs!!!!! Start with the things that you must have first then go from there. If I only have $4000.00 dollars to last a month I pay my mortgage 1st -$1000.00. Food for family for the month -$800.00
      Utilities (electric, phone, water, trash, cable) -$800.00. Transportation (car payment, insurance, fuel) -$750.00. Savings -$300.00 and that leaves a grand total of $350.00 for Miscellaneous expenses and entertainment. Now if I wanted to go out and buy a new boat or some other toy unless I plan for it I can’t get it because I don’t have the money, so if the states and federal government would look at their perspective budgets the same way things might start working out. It’s going to be hard when you first get started but after awhile it turns into a routine.

      • Crystal Steffner
        February 16, 2017 at 9:24 pm


  3. Dianne L.
    February 12, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    How is it that the state did not thoroughly inspect these dams and their workings while we had no water behind them? This is negligence of the worst kind. God help those who cannot get to high ground in time. Heaven help the CA government if even one life is lost due to their total refusal to do their jobs.

    • LB
      February 13, 2017 at 10:35 am

      The state of California is VERY, VERY, VERY corrupt. I lived there and I got out a few years ago. Their focus is on getting elected every year and not the people, especially the more conservative areas involved in this potential disaster. The state is already bankrupt. This will probably put them over the edge.

  4. HG
    February 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    The inept officials of California worry much about illegal aliens and spent millions, if not billions, while neglecting its own important infrastructures. Now they want to secede from the Union? Go ahead!

  5. Global Warming Hoax
    February 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    The good news is the drought’s over.

  6. Tim
    February 12, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Not if that dam breaks. It is 50% of our water supply.
    We be out of water by late July without lake oroville

    • m
      February 12, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Thank the democraps.

    • LB
      February 13, 2017 at 10:41 am

      You mean Los Angeles will be out of water? GOOD!

  7. B from CA
    February 13, 2017 at 10:53 am

    I have been saying for years that we should build new reservoirs. I am a genius. Oh, and if I lived anywhere near a dam, I’ld have taken a vacation at the first sign of danger out of an abundance of caution. Actually. I was offered the opportunity to live in an area in California which is below sea level. After Katrina I knew better. Earth quakes aside, California is a wonderful State. I think the politicians are just creating crisis on purpose. Sixty minute warning. You know that will create panic and grid lock. This has been developing over weeks. They should have put out an evacuation order immediately for those immediately under the structure, then expanded the order later. Is it incompetence, or deliberate. Agenda 21 anybody. Water price gouging justification. Either it is blamed on drought. Or it is blamed on a failing dam that any idiot could predict would falter if it rained. Damn criminals running The Show.

    • moman
      February 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      IF like a comment above stated, the area is full of conservatives, than you can bet your ass it was done on purpose, it was done to quell the discontent and opposition.

      kind of like fast and furious was done to further spurn on the anti gun agenda.

  8. JAS
    February 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I fail to see an issue here. If the dam breaks and washes half of California into the Pacific, we are ahead of the game.

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