Oroville Dam spillway used for first time since 2017 failure

ByAlicia Luce KGO logo
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Water flows down repaired Oroville Dam spillway
The repaired spillway at Oroville Dam was used on Tuesday, for the first time since it failed in February 2017.

OROVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- The California Department of Water Resources released water from the Oroville Dam spillway on Tuesday, for the first time since February 2017.

The DWR began release flows because of forecasted storms and a growing snowpack.

The dam's main spillway was rebuilt after it failed during a major rainstorm two years ago. Nearly 200,000 people who lived downstream were evacuated over fears the emergency spillway, which was also damaged, would fail.

RELATED: New report details what caused near disaster at Oroville Dam

Repairs cost more than $1.1 billion dollars. The DWR says more than 1,000 people worked more than two million hours to ensure the safety of downstream communities.

The DWR anticipates further releases to manage snowmelt and lake elevations this spring.