California officials slow release of water at Oroville dam
OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- California officials are slowing the release of water from a lake behind the nation's tallest dam so crews can remove debris from the bottom of the structure's damaged spillway.
Officials had been releasing 100,000 cubic feet of water, or enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, each second from the lake since Sunday, when the sheriff ordered an immediate evacuation. It was reduced to 80,000 cubic feet of water per second late Thursday.
State Department of Water Resources officials say that removing debris protects Oroville Dam's power plant and will allow for it eventually to be restarted.
The level of the reservoir has been reduced by 36 feet to accommodate inflow from upcoming storms. Still, water inflows are not expected to exceed current outflows.