More Than 160,000 Flee Overflowing Dam In Northern California

By Mike Murphy Markets MarketWatch Pulse

More than 160,000 people were ordered to evacuate in Northern California on Sunday night, over fears that the spillway at the Oroville Dam could break, potentially causing catastrophic flooding. Evacuated areas included the town of Oroville, at the base of the dam, and nearby Marysville and Yuba City. As of 9 p.m. Pacific time, the situation north of Sacramento had stabilized, with officials making emergency repairs and successfully lowering the water level behind the dam. The earthen Oroville Dam is the tallest in the United States, at 770 feet, and the lake behind it is California's second-largest reservoir. While officials said the dam itself was not in danger of failing, a 30-foot section of the overflow spillway was weakened by erosion and officials earlier in the evening feared its imminent collapse. Lake Oroville is at 101% capacity following the rainiest winter in more than a decade in Northern California.

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