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DWR prepares ahead of heavy rainstorm

The first big storm of the spring is fast approaching and state water officials already have their plan in place in case water must be released over the spillway.

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 5:53 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 7:43 AM

Oroville, Calif. -- The first big storm of the spring is fast approaching and state water officials already have their plan in place in case water must be released over the spillway. 


Lake Oroville is currently at 794 feet, about 36 feet from the trigger elevation, which is the point the DWR will begin releasing water from the spillway.

The Winter Operations Plan was created in response to last year's spillway incident.

The plan triggers more aggressive outflow from Hyatt Powerplant and potential use of the main spillway.

The DWR said increased outflows of 13,000 cubic feet per second of water is being released from Hyatt Powerplant.

The DWR said the public should not be concerned, but remain alert.

"While every other year we would have always done similar notifications about potential use of the spillway to downstream communities, obviously this year we brought that to a much wider swath to make sure we're being open and communicative," said Erin Mellon, Assistant Director Of Public Affairs, DWR.

The DWR said the forecasts are constantly changing so they will continue to send out press releases each day with water level updates.

As of now, the DWR said they should be able to operate using just Hyatt Powerplant, but this could change quickly if the weather becomes more severe.

Action News Now is keeping a close watch on conditions at the Oroville Dam. Stay in touch DOWNLOAD OUR NEWS APP FOR LATEST UPDATES: iOS | Android

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A trough of low pressure is moving over northern California this afternoon and tonight, and that will increase our wind speed and raise our area's fire danger even further. The wind will be weaker Thursday, but the smoke will get worse.
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