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New Book Released About Oroville Dam Spillway Emergency

A non-fiction book was released ahead of the 2nd anniversary of the Oroville Dam Spillway Emergency.

Posted: Jan 28, 2019 7:02 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2019 9:32 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Spillway Emergency: The Story of the Failure of the Oroville Dam Spillway and the Evacuation of Oroville has just been released by authors William Sager and Wayne Wilson.

Both authors are retired from Fire Service with CAL FIRE, where they had been involved with many evacuations. But the spillway failure of February 2017 was their first time as evacuees. That perspective led them to chronicle the events that happened, as they unfolded and to publish a non-fiction book about it.

With Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea's permission, they were able to have access to areas others didn't and were able to conduct interviews as well. In fact, Honea wrote the foreword for the book. They also worked closely with Acting DWR  Director Bill Coyle and others.

The two enlisted help to research media coverage and followed up on interesting points by searching out government documents. Sager, who was the Unit Chief for Cal Fire-Butte County from 2003 to 2008, appeared last week on Action News Now at Noon where he told Anchorwoman Linda Watkins-Bennett that the process was like "peeling an onion" with many layers of stories. He went on to say they worked hard to be objective and to present a balanced account of what happened.

The book is dedicated to "The men and women of the Department of Water Resources, the Butte County Sheriff's Office, CAL FIRE/the Butte County Fire Department, and other public agencies, as well as numerous private contractors and other citizens who put the safety of others ahead of their own to ensure that citizens downstream of the Oroville dam were safe when the flood control spillway broke apart."

Spillway Emergency: The Story of the Failure of the Oroville Dam Spillway and the Evacuation of Oroville is available through Amazon for approximately $20. You can buy signed copies of the book for $5 more at

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