Oroville Dam’s heavily damaged main spillway is expected to resume releasing water next week as levels continue to rise in the reservoir.
The Sacramento Bee reports the state Department of Water Resources says the battered concrete spillway is likely to begin water releases around March 17 when the level in Lake Oroville is expected to have risen to 865 feet.
That’s well below the point at which water would flow over the emergency spillway.
The problems at Lake Oroville began early last month when officials discovered a massive crater in the main concrete spillway used to release water during wet winter months.
Nearly 200,000 people were ordered to evacuate from parts of three counties when experts discovered severe erosion and feared it could cause the collapse of a concrete weir holding water in the lake.