The Oroville dam in central California is on the verge of failing, and an emergency order issued by the Butte County Sheriff’s Department ordered an evacuation yesterday. The order affected at least 188,000 people, and when they all tried to evacuate at the same time, something happened that should alarm anyone living in a high population density area: The traffic jammed up the highways for hours, proving that people living below the dam’s massive wall — it’s the tallest dam in America — have no practical means of escape in an emergency.
“The erosion at the head of the emergency spillway threatens to undermine the concrete weir and allow large, uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville,” reports a local CBS News affiliate.
But another large storm is in the forecast, and it could dump tens of millions of gallons of additional water into the reservoir held back by the dam. “A new storm system forecast for later this week put water officials on a race against time,” reports the LA Times. “The biggest concern was that a hillside that keeps water in Lake Oroville — California’s second largest reservoir — would suddenly crumble Sunday afternoon, threatening the lives of thousands of people by flooding communities downstream.”
According to a local CBS story, “Panicked and angry residents sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic hours after the evacuation order was given.”
Even more, the gridlock meant supplies couldn’t be brought to residents, either. Also from CBS News:
A Red Cross spokeswoman said more than 500 people were at an evacuation center in Chico, California. The shelter had run out of blankets and cots, and a semi-tractor trailer with 1,000 more cots was stuck in the gridlock of traffic fleeing the potential flooding, said Red Cross shelter manager Pam Deditch.
If you’ll notice, California’s incompetent government is actually making the argument for personal preparedness. And if you don’t have a bugout plan to escape high density population centers, you’ll not really prepared at all.
“More than a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California’s largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 185,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe,” reports the Mercury News.
It turns out that the emergency spillway — get this — is nothing but bare earth! Now, you don’t have to be a genius to realize that a massive amount of water surging over en emergency spillway onto bare earth is going to chew up that dirt and erode it almost instantly. In the same way that a garden hose on full blast can cut ravines in a sand box, tens of millions of gallons of water colliding with dirt is obviously going to tear that dirt to shreds.
California’s incompetent government was warned about this twelve years ago… and they did nothing. As the Mercury News reports:
Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.
California’s Department of Water Resources, however, concluded that there was no problem. Bureaucrats, you see, don’t live beneath the dam, and thus it’s not really their problem. History has repeatedly shown that bureaucrats are particularly bad stewards of things that don’t impact them personally.
So now they’ve resorted to incredibly stupid acts of theater to try to impress upon the public that they’re doing something after 12 years of doing nothing.
“Honea said there was a plan to plug the hole by using helicopters to drop rocks into the crevasse. But Croyle said at that no repair work was done after officials looked at the flow and available resources,” reports CBS News.
Yep, you read that correctly: They’re dropping bags of rocks via helicopters. The gestures is nothing more than pure theater. You can’t stop a massive wall of earth from eroding by dropping large bags of rocks into the holes when the water keeps coming down. Every gallon of water will continue to eat away at the wall… the bags are a joke. What you are witnessing is disaster theater at work… another form of “fake news” from the government itself. (They have to at least appear to be doing something, after all, or the liberal voters will lose faith in the incompetent government that’s screwing them all…)
Also via Mercury News:
“It is important to recognize that during a rare event with the emergency spillway flowing at its design capacity, spillway operations would not affect reservoir control or endanger the dam,” wrote John Onderdonk, a senior civil engineer with FERC, in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s San Francisco Office, in a July 27, 2006, memo to his managers.
The emergency spillway was designed to handle over 200,000 cubic feet per second. But the spillway wall began to fail after just 5% of that flow rate was observed (about 10,000 cubic feet per second). “The fear was that the erosion could undercut the 1,730-foot-long concrete lip along the top of the emergency spillway, allowing billions of gallons of water to pour down the hillside toward Oroville and other towns downstream,” writes the Mercury News:
Such an uncontrolled release from California’s second-largest reservoir while it was completely full could become one of the worst dam disasters in U.S. history.
Let all this be a lesson about how incompetent bureaucrats systematically deny reality until it’s too late, contributing to catastrophic failures that destroy lives and property while endangering us all.
By now, you’ve hopefully realize that bureaucrats will deliberately LIE to you while problems worsen, refusing to take proactive steps to prevent massive disasters from one day being triggered. It’s always easier to kick the can down the road, you see.
Another important lesson to take away from this is that no one can predict exactly when a massive catastrophe stemming from bureaucratic incompetence will strike. As with financial disasters, this dam emergency in California didn’t happen overnight. It was a collision of incompetence, denial and natural events that just happened to exceed “estimates of the experts” who assured us nothing could go wrong.
Does that sound a little like the coming global debt collapse? You bet it does. Remember: This is the same class of idiots who tell us all vaccines are safe, pesticides aren’t killing pollinators and the global debt Ponzi scheme will never unravel. (RELATED: Follow news about the global debt collapse at Collapse.news.)
This is the same group of idiots who tell us the power grid isn’t vulnerable to solar flares or EMP weapons… but that we should all be totally freaked out by “climate change,” a fake science fabrication based on wholly fabricated NOAA temperature data.
This is the group of idiots — especially in California — who tell us that national debt doesn’t matter, that nations should never protect their borders and that giving welfare to an endless stream of illegal immigrants is required by “compassion” (which really only means confiscating wealth from one group of people and handing it out to another).
Is it any wonder that California’s infrastructure is crumbling right before our eyes? The California government — and most of its people — have been living in a state of insane delusion for so long that sooner or later the denials have to collapse into reality. To me, the Oroville dam is a powerful metaphor for the entire state of Collapsifornia, a bankrupt welfare state run by incompetent idiots who are too interested in political correctness to address the real problems that threaten everyone’s future survival.
Whether or not this dam collapses, California is on the brink of its own social, financial and political collapse… and almost no one will be able to escape unscathed. This is what happens when you let libtards take over society and expand the size of government to the point of raging incompetence.