In Northern California — where close to 200,000 residents were ordered to evacuate — the massive Oroville Dam threatens to flood the surrounding area.
Today, emergency crews prepared loads of rock to be dropped by helicopters to seal a damaged emergency spillway — and the lake is at capacity.
Officials say with Lake Oroville filled to the brim, such a collapse would lead to a 30-foot wall of water coming out of the lake.
Currently, water is pouring down the dam’s damaged main spillway, at a rate of about 100,000 cubic feet per second.
The dam is about 75 miles north of Sacramento, and about 25 miles southeast of Chico. It is the tallest dam in the US.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered late Sunday for people living in Byoot, Yuba and Sutter counties. It’s unknown when the evacuations will be lifted.
More than a dozen evacuation centers have been set in surrounding counties.
Since last night, state and local officials say the immediate danger had passed, with water no longer flowing over the damaged spillway — but officials they warned people the situation remained unpredictable.
California Governor Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for the affected areas.
The tri-county Filipino-American Association estimates that there are more than 600 Filipino families living in affected Byoot, Yuba and Sutter counties.
An affected Pinoy of the dam flooding from Yuba City, Eddie Hernandez, past president of the tri-county Filipino-American Association, joins BA via Skype.