State officials hoping water level recedes at Oroville spillway

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It's something people in the area haven't seen in a long time - California's second largest reservoir practically full. (KGO-TV)

It's something people haven't seen in a long time - California's second largest reservoir practically full. But on Monday, it's not necessarily a good thing.

On Sunday night, the emergency spillway had water pouring over the top. Now it's a much better situation with the water levels slowly but steadily receding.

But state officials say the emergency spillway is compromised and they're worried that if it fails, the consequences downstream may be catastrophic.

RELATED: Oroville Dam emergency spillway expected to fail

Because of that, they're operating the main spillway at 100,000 cubic feet per second. It's already severely damaged but state officials say with the emergency spillway also damaged, they don't have much of a choice.

RELATED: Report: Officials ignored Oroville spillway concerns 12 years ago

They need to get the water level down as soon as possible before the next storms roll in.

Meantime, there's a lot of heavy equipment there. The plan is to take boulders, place them in giant bags, and then use helicopters to make drops -- effectively shoring up the damaged emergency spillway.

So far, the water has dropped 5 feet and they're hoping it drops close to 50 feet before the next rain rolls in.

Related Topics:
newsevacuationwaterstorm damagecaliforniafloodingflash flooding
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