Everyone living downstream from the Oroville Dam remembers the scare of 2017?

So no one gets blamed for getting squinty-eyed about news that the Department of Water Resources is now allowing water to escape Lake Oroville via the re-constructed main spillway.

DWR said they planned to use the repaired spillway for the first time starting yesterday (Tuesday) to release water – a necessity, according to the office, due to forecasts of storms expected to produce more runoff into the reservoir.

They started releasing about 8,300 cubic feet of water per second; and with other releases, it was expected that flows were to reach 20,000 cfs into the Feather River. That number was expected to grow through the week. DWR indicated it could increase releases to 40,000 to 60,000 cfs later in the week.

DWR officials reported late Wednesday that the spillway had operated as expected and designed and reiterated that they will release higher rates as the week progresses. It was stated in a news release they will up total releases to 30,000 cfs into the Feather River Friday morning.

While some area orchardists are worried about impact of higher water levels on levees and well water quality, county officials say there is little to worry about, safety-wise. But, they say, situations could change and residents should be somewhat alert. It’s also worth keeping in mind that snowpack up and down the state is more than 160 percent of normal ... a protracted warm spell or a good sized storm releasing warm rain on the snow could move a lot of water into the system. 

Good cause, for those of us who have been procrastinating, to go online and sign up for cellphone emergency alerts. If you’re in Sutter County, go to www.bepreparedsutter.org; and if you’re in Yuba County, go to www.bepreparedyuba.org.

Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal-Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.

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