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The risks of a possible Oroville Dam fail




In this handout photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources, Full water levels are visible behind the Oroville Dam at Lake Oroville on July 20, 2011 in Oroville, California.
In this handout photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources, Full water levels are visible behind the Oroville Dam at Lake Oroville on July 20, 2011 in Oroville, California.
Handout/Getty Images

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As NPR reports, the Oroville Dam, California’s second-largest reservoir, has developed a hole in its main spillway, causing concerns the dam could fail altogether.

A second emergency spillway went into action last weekend after the reservoir’s water levels hit more than a foot past its “full” limit. Concerns rose over the main and auxiliary spillways failing, and 180,000 residents near the dam were asked to evacuate Sunday afternoon, causing a major traffic jam for those traveling to safety. Hours later, Oroville’s water levels dropped and have continued to do so this morning. Evacuation centers are still preparing in case levels rise again.

The reservoir, located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, east of Sacramento Valley California, is in an area is expecting storms later this week. So what precautions are being taken? Eric Kurhi with The Mercury News has been reporting from Oroville, and joins Libby Denkmann to talk about what’s next.

Guest:

Eric Kurhi, reporter at The Mercury News following the story