Schools closed in California dam evacuation areas - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Schools closed in California dam evacuation areas

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Photo: NBC Photo: NBC
OROVILLE, Calif. -


Dozens of schools in evacuation areas throughout Yuba, Sutter and Butte counties are closed.
    
Nearly 200,000 people, who evacuated Sunday over fears that a damaged spillway at Lake Oroville could fail and unleash a wall of water, have to stay away indefinitely while officials race to repair it before more rains arrive Thursday.
    
Many districts were closed Monday in observance of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday. School officials say they will now remain closed until they are told by authorities that the area is safe.
    
Schools in the Marysville Joint Unified, the Wheatland Union High School District, the Plumas Lake Elementary School District, Yuba City and Live Oak unified school districts and Browns Elementary School District are closed.
    
Ten school districts in Sutter County are closed while 12 schools in the Bangor Union Elementary School District area closed.
    
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10:15 a.m.
    
Police say at least a handful of homes and businesses have been burglarized following an evacuation order Sunday over fears that a damaged spillway at Lake Oroville could fail.
    
Nearly 200,000 people who evacuated Sunday have to stay away indefinitely while officials race to repair the spillway before more rains arrive Thursday.
    
The Oroville Mercury Register reports (http://bit.ly/2kGTXzt ) that Lt. Gil Zarate says officers are beefing up patrols to dissuade crime amid empty homes and businesses. Police have made one arrest for burglary at a liquor store.
    
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8:15 a.m.
    
The Department of Water Resources will hold a news conference at noon to discuss progress made on repairing the damaged spillway.
    
Nearly 200,000 people, who evacuated Sunday over fears that a damaged spillway at Lake Oroville could fail and unleash a wall of water, have to stay away indefinitely while officials race to repair it before more rains arrive Thursday.
    
Crews working around the clock atop the crippled dam have made progress repairing the spillway.
    
Workers are hoisting giant white bags filled with rocks, and at least two helicopters will fly them to where they will be released in the spillway's erosion. Dump trucks full of boulders also are dumping their cargo on the damaged spillway.
    
State Department of Water Resources spokesman Chris Orrock says lake levels are dropping at a rate of 8 feet per day.
    
___
    
7:40 a.m.
    
Crews working around the clock atop the crippled Oroville Dam have made progress repairing the damaged spillway.
    
Workers are hoisting giant white bags filled with rocks, and at least two helicopters will fly them and then release them in the spillway's erosion. Dump trucks full of boulders also are dumping their cargo on the damaged spillway.
    
State Department of Water Resources spokesman Chris Orrock says lake levels are also dropping at a rate of 8 feet per day.
    
The goal is to see the level at 860 feet by Thursday when inflows should begin from the expected storms. Orrock says the lake is currently at 884 feet.
    
The barrier at the nation's tallest dam is being repaired after authorities ordered the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people for everyone living below the lake amid concerns the spillway could fail and send water roaring downstream.
    
___
    
3:30 a.m.
    
A huge Northern California reservoir, held in place by a massive dam, has always been central to the life of the towns around it.
    
Now the lake that has brought them holiday fireworks and salmon festivals could bring disaster.
    
Nearly 200,000 people, who evacuated Sunday over fears that a damaged spillway at Lake Oroville could fail and unleash a wall of water, have to stay away indefinitely while officials race to repair it before more rains arrive Thursday.
    
Evacuees felt strange on Monday to see their beloved lake associated with urgent voices on the national news.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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