The Zombie Dam
Outside of Northern California it’s likely that few people realize that the Oroville Dam on the Feather River is the highest dam in the United States. It is 770′ tall, and while not as wide as some other dams, it is very, very tall. Behind it is the second largest reservoir in the State of California, a major supply point for Southern California’s water. It’s earthen. It has a spillway that is broken, and an auxiliary spillway/emergency dam that is also earthen and is just inches below the level of overflowing that emergency spillway/dam as of this writing (Monday, February 13, 2017 morning) like it was doing most of yesterday and last evening.
Believe me, there is plenty of blame and finger pointing to go around this morning. Was it liberal environmental policies that caused this? Or did the State Government ignore warnings (ironically from environmental groups) that the dam was in danger? Did the State seriously have a plan to evacuate fish at least two days before they had a plan to evacuate people? Was the danger downplayed to the point where people who were in danger ignored the whole thing until the mandatory evacuation order on Sunday afternoon?
Are there lessons here? Of course there are. And many of them have been debated for years, including the whole Zombie Apocalypse scenario that played out on TV last night…