U.S. dam risk triggers urgent evacuation

Residents below the tallest dam in the United States, near Oroville in Northern California, were urgently ordered to evacuate on Sunday after a spillway appeared for a time to be in danger of imminent collapse. Joanna Webster reports.

OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (CBS) – Residents below the tallest dam in the Unites States ordered to evacuate urgently after an emergency channel appeared to be about to collapse.

Evacuation orders came for those living near the Lake Oroville Dam in Northern California, as authorities said a crumbling auxiliary spillway could give way.

The California Department of Water Resources tweeting at 4:30 PM local time (February 12) that the channel was “predicted to fail within the next hour”.

Several hours on it still stood, as authorities said a hole in the spillway was not eroding as quickly as they thought.

The amount of water flowing over the spillway has dropped but the evacuation order still stands.

More than 160,000 people live in the area.

The Oroville dam is nearly full after winter storms brought relief to California after some four years of drought.

Water levels were less than 7 feet from the top on Friday (February 10).