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Water seeps down Oroville Dam spillway

Water has begun to seep down the Oroville dam spillway for the first time since the Oroville Dam spillway crisis in 2017.

Posted: Mar 5, 2019 3:56 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2019 11:20 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. - Water has begun to seep down the Oroville dam spillway for the first time since the Oroville Dam spillway crisis in 2017.

The California Department of Water Resources says the gates are not watertight. They are designed to allow small amounts of water to pass through once the lake reaches 813 feet above sea level.

The lake reached 814 feet on Tuesday and water can be seen trickling down the spillway. 

The Department of Water resources predicts the gates to the main spillway could be opened within the next few weeks once the lake reaches a certain level. However, their goal is to allow as much water to remain in the lake as possible for water storage and recreation. 

Current Oroville Reservoir levels: 814 feet

Projected Elevation on March 9 based on 10-day forecast: 835 feet

Current Oroville Reservoir capacity: 66 percent of total capacity, 94 percent of historical average

Current releases from Hyatt Powerplant: 5,000 cuber feet per second with planned increases

The Department of Water Resources plans to increase releases from the Hyatt Powerplant from 5,000 cubic feet per second to 7,000 cubic feet per second. 

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