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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Oroville Dam flood danger recedes; state criticized for spending on rail, illegals


    The California Department of Water Resources increased the amount of water being discharged from Lake Oroville in anticipation of storms later this week as well as snowmelt this spring, but criticism about neglect of the 50-year-old dam continues to flood ...

    By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times - Monday, February 13, 2017

    The flood danger from the Oroville Dam receded Monday, but California was hit by a wave of criticism for failing to heed warnings about risks to the spillway at a time when the state spent generously on illegal immigrants and high-speed rail.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, came under fire amid reports that federal and state officials for years rebuffed or ignored calls to fortify the massive 50-year-old dam, which provides water to more than 20 million farmers and residential consumers.

    “What’s Governor Brown doing?” former state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican, asked in a Monday post on Facebook. “The same thing he’s been doing for decades — obstructing progress.”

    A radio talk show host, Mr. Donnelly said California “has been so busy defying President Donald Trump in order to protect illegal aliens from deportation that it forgot to do the things government is supposed to do, like maintain infrastructure. Governor Brown is now going hat-in-hand to beg the Trump administration for emergency funds.”

    The blame game for the giant sinkhole in the dam’s concrete spillway kicked in as state and county officials announced that they had managed to discharge enough water from Lake Oroville to stop sheets of water from cascading over its earthen walls.

    Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a Monday press conference that the goal is to reduce the water level by 50 feet to make room for the next round of storms, expected to hit Thursday and Friday.

    Nearly 190,000 residents, as well as 500 inmates from the Butte County Jail, were evacuated from the area under an emergency order Sunday, but the sheriff said there was no word about when they would be allowed to return.

    “This is still a dynamic situation,” said Sheriff Honea. “It’s still a situation we’re trying to assess the damage. We need to have time to make sure that before we allow people back into those areas, it is safe to do so.”

    Bill Croyle, acting director of the California Department of Water Resources, said engineers increased the amount of water being discharged from the lake to 100,000 cubic feet per second to counter the inflow of 37,000 cubic feet per second.

    “As indicated, we’re working to really dig down into the reservoir and move as much water out of that reservoir so we have space for the storms we expect to come in as well as the snow runoff later this spring,” Mr. Croyle said.

    Mr. Brown issued an emergency order late Sunday to speed the state’s response to the flooding danger, brought on by three storm systems that dumped record rainfall on Northern California in late January. He has also requested a presidential major disaster declaration.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency is assisting state officials at the scene. Mr. Trump has not commented on the emergency, but Rep. Doug LaMalfa, California Republican, said he was working with the White House and House leadership on the declaration.

    “They’re aware of what’s going on here, and they’re making their decisions now,” Mr. LaMalfa said at a press conference Monday.

    Built in 1968, the Oroville Dam, located about 70 miles north of Sacramento on the Feather River, is the tallest dam in the nation at 770 feet, but environmental groups argue that the project’s infrastructure needs have been a low priority.

    In 2005, advocacy groups led by Friends of the River urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order the state to reinforce the dam’s earthen walls with concrete, citing the erosion risk, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

    The agency rejected the request on the recommendation of the state Department of Water Resources and local water agencies, which would have been on the hook for improvements that could have cost as much as $100 million.

    Reinforcing the Oroville Dam was not included on Mr. Brown’s $100 billion wish list of projects prepared last month at the request of the National Governors Association in response to Mr. Trump’s call for $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements, CNBC reported.

    One project that did make the list: California high-speed rail, a pet project of Mr. Brown’s with an estimated price tag of $100 billion that has become for state Republicans a symbol of out-of-control government spending.

    Last month, the state’s 14 Republican members of the U.S. House sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao asking her to suspend federal funding for high-speed rail while her office conducts a “full and complete audit of the project and its finances.”

    Critics of California’s willingness to spend billions of dollars on high-speed rail and services for illegal immigrants were quick to draw parallels to the state’s failure to invest in the Oroville Dam. The cost of fixing the spillway alone is now $200 million.

    Charlie Kirk, founder of conservative student group Turning Point USA, fired off a meme Monday saying, “California Governor Jerry Brown spends $25 billion per year to support illegal immigrants/I wonder how much Governor Brown spent to maintain the Oroville Dam?”

    Others defended Mr. Brown, pointing out that the emergency spillway had never been used until this year and that the catastrophic rainstorms came as a shock, especially after five years of drought.

    Still others turned the crisis into an opportunity to blast Mr. Trump, saying he should repair the Oroville Dam instead of building a wall on the southern border.

    Oroville isn’t the only dam facing problems. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s dams a grade of D in a report last year, saying the average age of the nation’s 84,000 dams is 52 years.

    The evacuations have resulted in mass closures of schools, government offices and businesses, although the Sacramento Bee reported that only a couple of looting incidents had been reported in Oroville. The Red Cross, Salvation Army and other nonprofits were assisting those displaced by the flood danger.

    “It’s very much a fluid and dynamic operation that’s going on out there,” said Kevin Lawson, incident commander for Cal-Fire. “When you try to factor in what we’re dealing with with Mother Nature, it’s hard to look at a crystal ball and predict how that’s going to evolve.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...te-criticized/
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    20% of dams in populated areas lack emergency plan

    USA TODAY NETWORK Benjamin Spillman, Jill Castellano and Tracy Loew, USA TODAY Network Published 7:29 p.m. ET Feb. 13, 2017 | Updated 3 hours ago



    Aerial footage shows water gushing down the spillway of Oroville Dam during the same week the spillway collapsed because of damage, causing at least 188,000 people to evacuate the area. USA TODAY NETWORK


    (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage, Getty Images)


    As the nation's 84,000 dams continue to age, a growing number of people downstream are at risk, experts say.

    That's not only because of older infrastructure but also because of population growth around some of the dams.

    More than a quarter were developed primarily for recreational purposes, according to National Inventory of Dams data from 2016.


    "The nation’s dams are aging, and the number of high-hazard dams is on the rise," according to a 2013 report from the
    American Society of Civil Engineers. "Many of these dams were built as low-hazard dams protecting undeveloped agricultural land. However, with an increasing population and greater development below dams, the overall number of high-hazard dams continues to increase."


    That problem was highlighted this week as nearly 200,000 people evacuated an area near California's
    Oroville Dam, about 150 miles northeast of San Francisco. California water officials were worried that erosion they discovered Sunday at the top of its emergency spillway could send a 30-foot tall wall of water down the Feather River and through the Northern California cities of Oroville, Yuba City and Marysville.

    ► Related: New storms could imperil Oroville where 200,000 were evacuated

    The population of Oroville, the county seat of Butte County that's less than 10 miles downriver from Oroville Dam, has more than doubled since the dam was completed in 1968.


    Most U.S. dams were completed between 1950 and 1980. A small fraction of dams, 2.8%, were built before 1900.
    More than 4,000 dams have been built since 2000, accounting for 4.5% of all U.S. dams.


    A playground is seen Feb. 13, 2017, submerged in flowing water at Riverbend Park in Oroville, Calif. as the Oroville Dam releases water down its main spillway about 10 miles up the Feather River. (Photo: Josh Edelson, AFP/Getty Images)

    The latest data in the dams inventory, which the Army Corps of Engineers compiles, shows almost 15,500 dams across the USA are characterized as high hazard, meaning at least one person could die if the dam were to fail.

    Among those high-hazard dams, nearly 1 in 5 lack an emergency action plan, a document dam owners maintain that includes critical information such as emergency contacts, details about the dam and an inundation map.


    “If you have a good emergency action plan, you are going to reduce the consequences if the dam fails,” said Lori Spragens, executive director of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.


    The average age of the United States' 84,000 dams is 52, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers' report.


    “We can’t seem to get the federal government or the states interested in funding the most fundamental part of what makes us go, which is infrastructure,” Spragens said. “It just needs so much more attention at a national level.”


    In seven states, more than half of the high-hazard dams are operating without emergency action plans, according to the National Inventory of Dams:

    • In South Carolina, it’s 96%.
    • Mississippi, 88%
    • Rhode Island, 82%
    • Alabama, 79%
    • New Mexico, 61%
    • Florida, 58%
    • North Carolina, 57%

    Only three states — Louisiana, Maine and Tennessee — and Puerto Rico have emergency plans in place for all the dams with high-hazard potential.

    In California, the problem is especially widespread.
    California has more than 1,500 dams, according to the National Inventory of Dams database. Of those, 52% are considered high hazard, the fourth highest of any state.

    ► Related: What is the Oroville Dam and what will happen if its spillway fails?

    Nationwide, 17% of dams are considered high hazard.

    In California, more than a third, 36%, of the high-hazard dams don't have an emergency plan, which would kick into gear if the dam appeared to be a threat. Oroville Dam does have an emergency plan.


    “We can’t seem to get the federal government or the states interested in funding the most fundamental part of what makes us go, which is infrastructure.”
    Lori Cannon Spragens, Association of State Dam Safety Officials

    Nationwide, 31% of high-hazard dams lack an emergency plan.

    Almost two-thirds of U.S. dams are privately owned. Among the rest: Local governments own 20%; states, 7%; public utilities, 4%; the federal government, also 4%; and the remainder don’t have their ownership listed.


    Understanding the level of risk associated with the nation’s dams can be difficult.


    States have oversight of about 7 in 10 of the nation’s 84,000 dams. The federal government through the Army Corps of Engineers, the
    Bureau of Reclamationand the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissionregulates others.


    More than three quarters of the high-hazard dams are state regulated, according to Association of State Dam Safety Officials. Of those, about 1 in 7 are in need of remediation.


    “That is one of our biggest national challenges, to try and get these dams inspected more regularly,” Spragens said. In 2015, states spent $49.4 million regulating and inspecting more than 81,000 dams, including the high-hazard dams under state regulation.


    The
    Federal Emergency Management Agency operates the National Dam Safety Program, which is an attempt to support standards for dam safety. The program supports research and training related to dam safety and inspection, including grants to states to improve their own regulatory systems.

    ► Related: Dam's eroding spillway further proof that northern Calif. drought is over

    But the FEMA program doesn’t provide enough money for states to enforce the regulations or inspections.


    “A lot of states are behind on that schedule. That is a huge challenge right now across the country, having enough inspectors doing their jobs,” Spragens said.


    People who want to learn more about dams in their own communities will have a difficult time tracking down critical data. Security concerns following the
    Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted restrictions on the availability of hazard ratings and conditions of specific dams.


    “That is not going to be easy to find,” Spragens said. “You obviously don’t want people panicking, but it is very understandable: We want people to know.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...plan/97870636/
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  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    DONNELLY: Jerry Brown’s California Legacy is a Dam Failure

    by ASSEMBLYMAN TIM DONNELLY
    13 Feb 2017
    Twin Peaks, CA

    The Oroville Dam — at 770 feet, America’s tallest — is on the verge of failing. And Sacramento, which has been fiddling for decades while Rome burns, is running for cover.

    This isn’t just any dam; it’s the primary storage facility located on the Feather River for the State Water Project, the state-owned conveyance system that provides drinking water to more than two-thirds of California’s population.

    If the dam were to fail, it could inundate not only the city of Oroville but numerous other communities downstream, including Yuba City, Marysville and even West Sacramento.

    At the moment, the emergency spillway is being used for the first time since Governor Ronald Reagan approved its construction, and almost 200,000 people have been evacuated.

    What’s Governor Jerry Brown doing?

    The same thing he’s been doing for decades — obstructing progress. California has been so busy defying President Donald Trump in order to protect illegal aliens from deportation that it forgot to do the things government is supposed to do, like maintain infrastructure. Governor Brown is now going hat-in-hand to beg the Trump administration for emergency funds.

    According to Breitbart News sources, the Trump administration is already closely monitoring the situation, and has dispatched personnel and made contingency plans to aid California in the event of a catastrophic dam failure.

    But it’s during the seven dry years — the extended drought — that the state should have fixed its water infrastructure, like dams and canals. Brown and his merry band of Democrats had different priorities, like high-speed rail, benefits for illegal aliens, and unsustainable pensions.

    The reality is that Sacramento was warned over and over again. Just a few years back, environmentalists raised concerns that an earthquake could degrade the massive earthen rockfill dam. Sacramento just chose to ignore those concerns — and to spend the money on other priorities.

    According to the San Jose Mercury News, it was “(t)hree environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — [who] filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.”

    It’s ironic that the same environmentalists who have opposed every new dam project were the ones who raised the alarm.

    Countless proposals have been floated over the past two decades to fund infrastructure out of the general fund, and prioritize critically needed upgrades to dams, roads and bridges. But Sacramento spends a pittance out of it’s $180 billion budget on infrastructure, and most of that is earmarked for the abysmal roads and a crumbling intrastate highway system.

    Instead, California’s Democrat-dominated leadership depend on bonds to bail them out.

    Californians are probably scratching their heads wondering what happened to all the money they had approved for bonds over the past few decades — something close to $20 billion (not including the latest water bond, Proposition 1, which alone was $7.5 billion).

    When a bond is approved, the money is allocated according to the official stated purpose and/or specific projects to be built. In fact, some of those bond accounts are still flush with hundreds of millions of unused dollars, which might have been approved by voters to use on existing infrastructure projects like shoring up the Oroville Dam.

    But Gov. Jerry Brown never thought to ask them.

    According to a PPIC report on how the money has been disbursed on the latest water bond, all the pork projects got funded, but not a penny has been allocated for water storage.

    The chart on the report page will show you everything you need to know about Sacramento’s priorities. Even the so-called “Water Bond” hasn’t been used to shore up or expand our water storage infrastructure yet (in spite of projects being in the pipeline for decades):

    To date, the awards have focused on addressing priorities related to urgent public health and safety issues and the drought. Thirty-one grants will help disadvantaged communities with safe drinking water and wastewater treatment projects, 19 grants will boost urban supplies with wastewater recycling projects, and 21 grants will support local efforts to better manage groundwater reserves. Another priority has been California’s ecosystems, which have been hit hard by the drought; 45 projects address water supply and habitat to support native species around the state.

    No funds have been awarded yet for water storage, another key area for boosting drought resilience. This has led to some criticism that the pace of spending is too slow, but this overlooks the bond language, which laid out a two-year process for establishing funding criteria.

    But there is one thing Gov. Brown has done in cooperation with federal officials regarding infrastructure. A little over a year ago, Brown signed off on an agreement to tear down dams on the Klamath River.

    Yes, you can’t make this stuff up.

    Brown did finally have his “rainy day” fund approved by voters in 2016. Yet California — the so-called sustainable state — has refused to maintain its infrastructure in order to sustain its way of life. Now the “rainy day” they’d hoped to avoid is here.

    God be with all those in the pathway of potential destruction.

    http://www.breitbart.com/california/...y-dam-failure/
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  4. #4
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Don't give any federal emergency funding.

    Tell Jerry Brown to repair it himself with funds he set aside to aid and harbor his illegally alien populous


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    But we want to help the people of California the same as we do all our people. We're mad at California politicians because of their anti-American policies, actions and laws in some cases, but the citizens of California are our fellow Americans, and we want to do for them the same as we would do for any citizens experiencing a disaster and who need help. We may not want to pay to fortify the spillways, but we would always pay to help the people experiencing a damage from the state's failure to protect them. That is one of the important roles of the federal government, to be there for you when your state isn't.
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    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Let Hollywood do a fund raiser and help them!

    Call on Merrill Streep, George Clooney, Rosie O'Donnell, Bruce Springstein and the rest of the "Trump is not my President" crowd.

    Go ahead...take the challenge! Raise the money.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I doubt these people are Hollywood fans. They're probably Trump Supporters!!

    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Oroville Dam Spillway

    We activated our regional and headquarters coordination centers and an incident management team and liaison officer are at the California emergency operations center.
    Please continue to listen to local officials.

    https://www.fema.gov/
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    A lot of illegals, welfare, food stamp people on the dole, and druggies live in Marysville, Yuba City, Oroville, Paradise, Grass Valley.

    I have lived and travelled all over CA.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    The 2010 United States Census[16] reported that Oroville had a population of 15,546.
    The
    population density was 1,194.8 people per square mile (461.3/km²).
    The racial makeup of Oroville was 11,686 (75.2%)
    White, 453 (2.9%) African American, 573 (3.7%) Native American, 1,238 (8.0%) Asian, 56 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 554 (3.6%) from other races, and 986 (6.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,945 persons (12.5%).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orovil...a#Demographics
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