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Residents Canít Be Evacuated In Time If Oroville Dam Fails Says Local Sheriff

Dave Hodges

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The water levels of the Oroville Dam have dropped, somewhat. However, many officals fear that if the decision had to be made, the people could not be evacuated in time. Among those who expressed this specific doubt is Butte County Sheriff, Kory Honea.’

As the readers will see below, the weather is not going to cooperate over the next week, as the forecast for severe storms has increased in terms of intensity and duration.

Current Condition of the Oroville Dam

Here is the latest on the condition of the Oroville Dam.  A blind man could see that that this dam is in serious trouble. Therefore, all residents from Oroville to Sacramento are in trouble as well. Storms are forecasted through Tuesday (2/21). There will be a two day break, then one storm after another will make roll through the area.


From Fox News and Agenda 21 Radio

No interpretation of the danger is needed. Please consider the following:

Communities immediately downstream of California’s Lake Oroville dam would not receive adequate warning or time for evacuations if the 770-foot-tall dam itself — rather than its spillways — were to abruptly fail, the state water agency that operates the nation’s tallest dam repeatedly advised federal regulators a half-decade ago.

Regulators at the time recommended that state officials implement more public-warning systems, carry out annual public education campaigns and work to improve early detection of any problems at the dam.

Six years later, state and local officials have adopted some of the recommendations, including automated warnings via reverse 911 calls to residents. But local officials say the state hasn’t tackled other steps that could improve residents’ response, such as providing routine community briefings and improving escape routes?

The catastrophic scenario of a sudden breach at California’s second-largest water reservoir, outlined between 2010 and 2012 in online archives of federal dam regulators, is a different and far graver situation than the concern that prompted sudden evacuation orders Sunday for 188,000 downstream residents. Operators of the nearly half-century-old dam in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills became worried that the water cascading from the reservoir after a series of winter storms could roar uncontrolled down a rapidly eroding emergency spillway toward towns downstream.”

If this is not a potentially catastrophic situation, then I have never seen one.  IF there is even a chance the dam could fail, the people should be evacuated in the same manner that the Butte County Sheriff tried to do.

Local radio personality, Paul Preston,  issued the following statement:

“The shortfalls in organization as well as infrastructure to quickly get residents out were on full display in the chaotic hours after the evacuation order. Residents found themselves caught in traffic jams for hours on clogged roads, leading some families to abandon their cars. While many local officials and ordinary people rushed to help direct traffic and staff emergency shelters, evacuees also reported seeing fistfights on gridlocked roads.

In an email Thursday, state water agency spokesman Ed Wilson said that despite the repeated back-and-forth correspondence between state and federal officials about reducing detection and response times in a sudden dam failure, the scenario was “hypothetical” and “not how dams typically fail in real life.”

Asked Friday whether residents immediately downstream would have time and warning to get out if the dam itself failed, Sheriff Kory Honea in Butte County, where Lake Oroville is located, answered, “it’s a very, very daunting challenge.”

Again, there is an official statement that the people cannot be evacuated in time should the dam begin to fail. Governor Brown is playing politics with the lives of 2 million people between Oroville and Sacramento.

Media Blackout In Effect

KRON TV has reported that five Oroville Dam workers have been fired for violating a contract by putting pictures of the dam on social media.

What is the Department of Water Resources afraid of? Don’t the people have a right to know the full truth about the danger that they face?


In a future article, I will be detailing how Gov. Brown benefits if the Oroville Dam fails. Suffice for now to say, that Brown is playing chicken with his citizen’s lives. There is not a question that this area should have stayed evacuated after the Butte County Sheriff issued the order.

This may be a state and local matter. However, it is time for President Trump weigh in on this matter.