Thousands of Northern California residents of the town of Oroville have been evacuated in recent days due to an anticipated failure of an axuilary spillway in the Oroville Dam on the Feather River.
After years of severe drought, California has been hammered with rain and snow this winter and the previously drained lake is now hundreds of feet above sea level. The auxiliary was opened to try to relieve some of the water, but a hole has appeared and has been widening and residents in the path of the spillway have now been evacuated.
What is troubling is that it is unclear whether this spillway damage could cause structural failure which might damage the main dam itself, which given the Feather River on which the Dam is located flows into the massive Sacramento river, flooding in this area could be a major ecological and economical disaster for Northern California.
You can read more and catch live updates from the LA Times.
This frightening event is a sobering reminder that something as simple as increased water levels in nearby dams can pose a threat to our household and communities.
No matter how we prepare, we need to be anticipating both bugging in, and what we would do in the event of an evacuation like this. If we put all our efforts into stocking up our homes and end up being evacuated as a dam break or forest fire overtakes our homes, it will be for naught.
As our thoughts and prayers are with the community of Oroville that the water can be drained quickly enough to protect the town, think about your contingency plan for such an event in your area. If you don’t know where nearby dams are, look into it, or perhaps neighboring nuclear plants or factories that might be subject to harmful meltdowns or spills.
As survivalists, we need to train to predict the unpredictable, and have a flexible survival plan that will accommodate any number of circumstances. Our modern grid can be so precarious, as this potential disaster illustrates.
Stay safe out there.
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