More than 600 high-risk dams in CA do not have an approved emergency plan, report says

Editors note: A previous version of this article said Oroville Dam did not have an approved emergency plan. Below a PDF shows that the Oroville Dam does have an approved plan.

Posted: Jan 31, 2020 1:01 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2020 3:16 PM

Editors note: A previous version of this article said the Oroville Dam did not have an approved emergency plan. Below a PDF shows that the Oroville Dam does have an approved plan.

OROVILLE, Calif. - A new report from the California State Auditor shows that there are more than 600 high-risk dams in the state, that do not have approved emergency plans.

The report criticizes two state agencies - The Department of Water Resources and the Office of Emergency Services - for not doing enough to ensure public safety.

When the Oroville Dam's spillway nearly failed three years ago, it created massive traffic jams as 180,000 people tried to flee from the Feather River and today some who experienced that incident wonder if an emergency evacuation plan even exists.

RELATED: Voices of Oroville: One year after Oroville Dam Spillway Crisis

"I'm not aware of a plan. I have my own plan," said Yuba City resident, Sharon Smith. "My own plan is this time I'll stay home. Last time I was stuck in traffic. It should have taken me two and a half hours to travel to Orland to my brother-in-law's house and I was in traffic for six hours."

A new state audit released Thursday, Jan. 30 reveals dozens of dam owners failed to submit flood maps to the state.

The audit also finds only 22 of 400 emergency plans submitted have actually been approved by the office of emergency services. The Oroville Dam is one of the dams that does have an approved plan.

OES disputes that, staying under statute, Cal OES has 60-days to review a completed emergency action plan with approved inundation maps and return it for revisions to approve. There are currently no EAPS under review at Cal OES that have failed to meet that 60-day deadline.

RELATED: Oroville Dam Spillway Crisis: One Year Later

The Department of Water Resources is responsible for approving flood maps.

In a statement, the DWR said its division of safety of dams "is updating its inspection protocols to identify previously unknown safety risks and work with owners to mitigate those risks."

Read the approval letter for Oroville Dams emergency action plan below:

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 516851

Reported Deaths: 9441
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1938774702
Orange37813651
Riverside37011695
San Bernardino33432418
San Diego29883565
Kern20651144
Fresno15083138
San Joaquin11885180
Alameda11524189
Santa Clara10794191
Sacramento10122145
Tulare9745189
Imperial9448222
Stanislaus9221112
Contra Costa8033127
Ventura734476
San Francisco691661
Santa Barbara616760
San Mateo5683119
Marin509270
Monterey492430
Kings445356
Merced428550
Solano361137
Sonoma311339
Madera194330
Placer192516
San Luis Obispo190216
Yolo157242
Santa Cruz11524
Butte9417
Napa8888
Sutter7976
San Benito6474
El Dorado6371
Lassen6260
Yuba5024
Shasta3909
Glenn3321
Colusa3314
Mendocino3229
Nevada2991
Tehama2341
Humboldt2334
Lake2081
Mono1451
Tuolumne1412
Amador1260
Calaveras1251
Del Norte880
Siskiyou730
Inyo611
Mariposa572
Plumas330
Trinity50
Alpine20
Modoc20
Sierra20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Oroville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 75°
Paradise
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Chester
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 65°
Red Bluff
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Willows
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
It was a slightly cooler day for northern California today, but a more significant cooling is arriving tomorrow, along with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms over the mountains of northwest California.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events