Rain and melting snow are pouring into Lake Oroville and officials may break in the new spillway a week from Friday.
Lake Oroville’s newly rebuilt spillway may get its first real test next week, as officials prepare to open the spillway’s floodgates to create more room behind the dam.
The reservoir has risen 133 feet since the start of the rainy season October 1st.
DWR officials say they’re removing construction equipment and a temporary road. Officials project that the water level will reach 850 feet on April 5th. It’s now five feet below that.
The spillway can release water once the lake reaches 813 feet.
In February 2017 the dam’s original spillway broke apart and within days its emergency spillway nearly failed as the water reached 900 feet---the top. A total of 188,000 people were evacuated.
Replacing the spillway and substantial strengthening of the emergency spillway have cost about $1.1 billion.