Villages of the Dam
Homes and businesses beneath California’s Oroville Dam lie abandoned underwater – as it’s revealed officials were warned about the crumbling structure 12 years ago
Eerie images of drowned buildings and ghost towns have emerged from the area below California‘s crumbling Oroville Dam after hundreds of thousands were ordered to evacuate.
And it might have been averted had federal officials and water agencies not ignored warnings 12 years ago that the 49-year-old structure was at risk of collapsing.
It also appears that repairs on the massive dam – which was left falling apart after a surprise burst of heavy rainfall – were not earmarked in Governor Jerry Brown’s $100 billion list of key infrastructure projects this month.
The rainfall that is expected Wednesday could pour into a gaping 250ft chasm in the concrete spillway, causing a collapse and unleashing a 30ft ‘tsunami’ tidal wave that could leave towns along a 40-mile stretch of the Feather River below the dam under 100ft of water. There is currently no end in sight for those evacuated from their homes.
The situation is now so critical that President Trump is being urged to declare a disaster in Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties, where 200,000 people, including Department of Water staff, were frantically ordered to evacuate their homes and places of work on Sunday.
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