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CA Evacuation & the Preparedness of our Govt.

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posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 06:55 PM
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I don't want to hone in on Jappee's post, but this situation raises many important questions. I can't believe the lack of preparedness on the part of our officials. Is our government that laissez-faire with our safety?

According to the Associated Press:


At least 130,000 people were asked to evacuate in Northern California after authorities warned an emergency spillway in the country's tallest dam was in danger of failing Sunday and unleashing uncontrolled flood waters on towns below.

About 240km northeast of San Francisco, Lake Oroville is one of California's largest man-made lakes, and the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam is the nation's tallest.


The link to the original article is above, but here are some salient points and my own comments:

1. According to officials, water began flowing over the emergency spillway on Saturday after heavy rainfall; however, as of early Sunday, they insisted that the dam itself was structurally sound & assured residents that there was no threat to the public.
2. By 4pm on Sunday afternoon, residents in four towns were given an emergency evacuation order from their LOCAL authorities. They were told that the spillway could fail in as little as an hour. This resulted in mass panic as more than 100,000 people frantically rushed to evacuate, causing bumper-to-bumper traffic. In other words, a true doomsday scenario for those poor folks.
3. On Sunday night, the California Dept of Water Resources said that the lake levels had decreasing as they were releasing as much as 100,000 cubic feet per second from the main, heavily damaged spillway to try to drain the lake, but, oh-well, water was still spilling over the dam. Can you smell a bit of CYA in the air?
4. Engineers with the Department of Water Resources said shortly after 6pm that continued erosion to the spillway was not occurring as quickly as they anticipated & their plan was to have helicopters drop large rocks into the crevasse in order to plug the hole. By the way, we're talking about a hole 196 feet wide and 29 feet deep - how many rocks do you think it would take to plug that monster? They could not estimate how long it would take, which begs the question, which would happen first - would the large rocks plug the hole before the structure gave way? Fortunately, local law enforcement didn't put much confidence behind that plan & felt it critical to initiate the evacuations. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said "We needed to get people moving quickly to save lives if the worst-case scenario came into fruition.". All I can say is, thank you, Sheriff Honea, for putting the residents you swore to serve and protect before anything else of a more political nature.
5. Although the emergency spillway was rated to handle 250,000 cubic feet per second, it began to show weakness as flows through the spillway peaked at 12,600 cubic feet per second at 1am Sunday morning and were down to 8,000 cubic feet per second by midday. Wait a minute, I'm confused about the timeline here unless the article is mistaken. If drainage began to show fragility at 1:00am early Sunday morning, why was the public told later Sunday morning that the dam was safe & not a danger to the public? In reality, if the spillway failed, huge uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville could have had a cascading affect on the rivers and waterways into which it feeds, possibly resulting in a 30 foot wall of water threatening the surrounding areas. Haven't our officials learned anything about the potential destructive power of water from Hurricane Katrina? Why was there no emergency plan in place? Do other areas in close proximity to similar bodies of water have emergency plans in place or are they just naively trusting our government officials?
6. At some point, the time of which is not indicated in the article, engineers admitted that they didn't know what had caused the cave-in (even though they had originally stated that it was caused by heavy rainfalls earlier in the week), but a spokesman for the state Dept of Water Resources said it appeared that the dam's main spillway had magically stopped crumbling, even though it was still being used for water releases. Are those water releases at the 250,000, 12,600 or 8,000 cubic feet per second? Are all of these people still at risk for losing their houses & personal possessions?

Ok. So that was the AP article. So many inconsistencies. The article lists three different times when officials became aware of this situation. Was it on Saturday when they noticed that water was flowing over the spillway? Was it on Sunday morning when they publicly announced that the public was in no imminent danger, or was it earlier in the week when heavy rainfall caused the unexpected erosion, which chewed through the main spillway, sending chunks of concrete flying & creating this monster hole? Are we to believe that structural engineers aren't capable of making any type of estimates as to how quickly this erosion would continue to expand? Do you think that they were entirely forthcoming with the public about the potential danger? If we can put aside the various discrepancies in the timeline & assume that they knew of the dangers, let's say even a day before residents were told that the spillway could fail in just one hour, why did they wait so long to get those people out of there? I personally have doubts about the timeline, but that begs the question as to why. Did this discovery happen earlier or later than they stated? Was it truly due to heavy rainfall alone or was there negligence, or something even worse, involved? How is it possible that an emergency plan was not in existence for an area that is so vital to California's economy? Taking out the human equation for a moment, this lake is a central piece of California's water delivery system. It supplies water for agriculture in the Central Valley & residents & businesses in Southern California. How could they be so cavalier about a worst case scenario in which a large chunk of California's economy is wiped out? These facts just don't make sense to me.

So, I just went looking for an update on the situation & came upon this CNN update from three hours ago which states that 188,000 people were evacuated when TWO spillways failed. I will admit that CNN gives a feasible reason for the spillway failures; after a long period of drought, heavy rain and snow fell in the state this past year, resulting in this particular area being hit by 25" of rain since October, when it's average yearly annual rainfall is 31". I can buy that explanation. But I still can't reconcile the timeline of when officials knew about the danger, nor can I fathom the government official's lack of urgency when it came to area residents. How could there have been no contingency plan in place? Lastly, from reading the CNN update, it baffles me that The California Dept of Fish & Wildlife began evacuating fish before evacuating people.

I'm pleased that I can end this very long post by saying that as of this morning, at 11:00am EST, they had drained enough lake water to prevent a catastrophe from happening (for now), but this situation needs to open up a discussion about the safety of our waterways. What say you, ATS?




posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 07:10 PM
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a reply to: timidgal



it baffles me that The California Dept of Fish & Wildlife began evacuating fish before evacuating people.


Ok, somebody explain me how do you evacuate fishes.



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: Trueman

Electricity.




posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 07:30 PM
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I don't know could you make a paragraphs for illustrative purposes?

Maybe break-it-down for me?

Are we safe from the flood?






posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: Trueman

With nets, silly!

Wow, there's been a giant cluster #%^* (forgive my crassness, but only way to describe it) over there. I have a mental picture of all the officials running around waving their hands in the air.

It seems to me that the "officials" suffer from It Can't Happen Here syndrome. Disasters only happen in other, far away places.

Sorry. Feeling a bit snarky tonight.



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Good video but I'm not convinced. I expected something fancier than electricity, like pheromones or mating call sound (I know fishes can't hear or...).

edit on 13-2-2017 by Trueman because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: Trueman

Dams are built for electricity. With electrical currents they can push all the fish, even the minnows, upstream.



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 08:03 PM
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originally posted by: Lolliek
a reply to: Trueman

With nets, silly!

Wow, there's been a giant cluster #%^* (forgive my crassness, but only way to describe it) over there. I have a mental picture of all the officials running around waving their hands in the air.

It seems to me that the "officials" suffer from It Can't Happen Here syndrome. Disasters only happen in other, far away places.

Sorry. Feeling a bit snarky tonight.


That sounds more like raids than evacuation. You know California....., those Anti Trump fishes !!!



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 08:04 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: Trueman

Dams are built for electricity. With electrical currents they can push all the fish, even the minnows, upstream.


Now that's cool. I had no clue about it.



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 08:11 PM
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a reply to: Trueman

That video, it shows how electrical currents are the only thing keeping those carp out of the Great Lakes.



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 08:51 PM
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As far back as 2005, the State was informed of potential problems, the Federal government was also informed but assured by State agencies and officials that all was well. the last inspection done on the Dam was in 2015 and this is how it was inspected:


The last state inspection was in July 2015, but workers did not closely inspect the concrete, the Redding Record Searchlight notes, instead eyeing it from a distance and concluding it was safe.


Now if anything is left, we are looking at a 100 to 200 million dollar repair bill which will not include all the levee repairs down stream....and another storm system coming....California's government are idiots

www.theatlantic.com...

edit on 2/13/2017 by DJMSN because: added llink



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 10:05 PM
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I like the way they blame the situation on mother nature. The design of the spillway was bad, whoever designed it should be liable for the mess. Of course that won't happen, the designing company is probably a friend of some high official there, the taxpayers will pay for this. I would bet that if digging was done, the contractor probably questioned whether the structure was strong enough and he was told to just build it exactly the way the plans were drawn.



posted on Feb, 13 2017 @ 10:47 PM
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a reply to: timidgal

Hey...are YOU ready for you and your family? Plans without phones, computers radios? Got water, food, gas, clothes, er supplies to last at least 3-5 days for every member of your family?

Dont expect the government to help you. Help yourself first. We're gonna be real busy with the most urgent situations.

MS
1st Responder
EMT/ERT
FEMA/Homelands Sec.



posted on Feb, 14 2017 @ 01:04 AM
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a reply to: mysterioustranger
I'm happy to say that yes, we are prepared; in some ways more extensively than the items you listed. We are not prepers, but with the international dynamics being as unstable as I believe they are right now, we're not taking any chances.



posted on Feb, 14 2017 @ 01:23 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

I'm sorry, Mandroid7, but my original formatting was too large and exceeded ATS' post limit. Next time, I'll break a long post into two consecutive posts.

As for the latest reports, water is no longer flowing over the emergency spillway and lake levels are continuing to fall.

That being said, a new storm system is supposed to hit the area on Wednesday. Will they have drained enough water from the lake by then? I guess that time will tell.



posted on Feb, 14 2017 @ 01:33 AM
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a reply to: DJMSN

Thanks for the inspection update. It's disgusting that they would be so ineffective when people's lives are concerned. Our officials always seem to put a bandaid on these types of issues. You're right and if the worst we're to happen, the cost would be much higher than just fixing the problem now.



posted on Feb, 14 2017 @ 01:35 AM
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Double post. Sorry about that...
edit on 2/14/2017 by timidgal because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2017 @ 01:41 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Everything you say makes sense. I agree that the engineers involved with building the dam should, but never will be, charged with negligence.



posted on Feb, 14 2017 @ 03:00 AM
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a reply to: timidgal

Just another case of libtards in charge,we have a recall petition to recall Brown,pretty evident money allotted to certain things,are missing,this debacle was caused by the liberal's and their agenda,liberals self serviant



posted on Feb, 14 2017 @ 03:14 AM
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You can't fully evacuate a city on a few days notice - you just can't.

People need to understand, once the mandatory evacuation order is issued for an entire city, it's going to be very difficult to leave. You need to learn to read the warnings signs and make plans before anything official.

I was down in Houston during their major evacuation. I was lucky enough to be able to fly out because as soon as I heard their might be another hurricane I starting booking refundable tickets.



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