Oroville Dam Disaster

In Mid-February of 2017 we watched videos on TV and online showing just how bad our crumbling infrastructure in the US had gotten. In fact, the tallest dam in the United States had a failure of its main spillway, something that could have been fixed inexpensively turned into cost of 100s of millions of dollars in very short order. Indeed, now some are questioning if the dam can make it through the winter rainy season without total failure – which if it occurs it will be the biggest disaster in US History, with potentially the most lives lost as well.

Before I get into the “blame game” which everyone these days loves to do, let’ consider what could happen?

If the emergency spillway collapses, a 30-foot wall of water would come rushing down and further erode the hillside. This would be more enough to take out levees downstream. Further, even though minor repairs are taking place, and the crippled system has made it through one storm, more are on the way. First responders from all over California are on their way to mutually assist, in fact a personal friend was dispatched to up North to help in case of a dam collapse.

During the next storm it could happen and all the water flows into the lake, and don’t forget the snow melt is coming in a couple of months. This is what happens when leftists spend money on social programs instead of what’s needed. The CA legislature didn’t let The Governator fix the levees and infrastructure – now everyone in CA pays, disaster could rival Katrina – and then there is the summer with no water for CA. Damn bureaucrats and leftists – this is totally on you.

Our think tank was trying to figure out ways to save the spillways and the dam, and here is what we came up with: they need 100 48″ hose-like pipes that are 1/2 mile long to syphon water out over the erosion problem by the emergency spillway and over the normal spillway failure area. That would work, if they do it now, then they can get the dam down to 80% in 1-2 weeks, thus, averting the future crisis of snow melt, and the next few storms. Hopefully this cold storm will cause snow not rain above dam?

That area near the end of the emergency spillway by the parking lot looks scary, nothing holding anything back and will erode quickly upon capacity, undermine emergency spillway, meanwhile the normal spillway is slowly eroding backwards towards dam, so it could be a no-win situation if the rains keep up, and without time to fix before major snow melt – this will be a tough and scary go until summer. Doesn’t look like a tenable situation. No offense to all the optimists here, I hear you, I’d love to be with you, but evidence suggests otherwise.


Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Innovation in America. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net.

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