California water authorities stopped the flow of water down the Oroville Dam's crippled spillway Monday, permitting workers to get started clearing out massive debris that is blocking a hydroelectric plant from functioning.
Water will not be released for the subsequent 5 to seven days, in the hopes that workers can eliminate in between 500,000 and 1 million cubic yards of debris by barge and excavator, stated Lauren Bisnett, spokeswoman with the Department of Water Sources.
"That is definitely the target," she mentioned. "They've got to get down and see what is going on."
Water managers turned to the emergency spillway for the very first time in the 48-year history of the country's tallest dam following a chunk of concrete tore out the main spillway following heavy rains.
Monday's slowdown began at six:45 a.m., going from 50,000 cubic feet per second to zero. The water was shut off by two p.m.
Removing the debris will bring officials 1 step closer to restarting the Hyatt Power Plant, which in turn will assistance remove water from the dam to make way for a lot more water in advance of the spring runoff, Butte County Sheriff Kenneth Honea mentioned Monday.
Mountains have swelled with a huge snowpack in Northern California this winter.
"We're in it for the extended haul and I've asked the public to be aware of that and be patient as we go forward," Honea stated.
The typical inflow into Oroville Dam this month was 570 % of the typical for February, the division stated. The reservoir's water level has been lowered almost 60 feet given that it reached capacity at 901 feet earlier this month, the division mentioned.
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