Oroville: Riverbanks Start to Collapse After Dam Spillway Shut Off
When state water officials scaled back their mass dumping of water from the damaged Oroville Dam this week, they knew the riverbed below would dry up enough to allow the removal of vast piles of debris from the fractured main spillway.
But they apparently did not anticipate a side effect of their decision to stop feeding the gushing Feather River — a rapid drop in river level that, according to downstream landowners, caused miles of embankment to come crashing down.
With high water no longer propping up the shores, the still-wet soil crashed under its own weight, sometimes dragging in trees, rural roads and farmland, they said.
“The damage is catastrophic,” said Brad Foster, who has waterfront property in Marysville (Yuba County), about 25 miles south of Lake Oroville.