The rain has started to return in Northern California and will continue over the next few days, but officials aren't as concerned about the upcoming weather so much as the damage already done to the Oroville Dam's already compromised main spillway.
The risk of flooding has dropped substantially, but Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea warned residents Wednesday that they remain in "an emergency situation."
- Engineers are racing to lower the water level at Lake Oroville.
- These graphics explain what is happening at the Oroville Dam.
- Could the crisis have been prevented?
- Here is Butte County's emergency information website.
- PHOTOS: Crisis at the Oroville Dam
- VIDEOS: The Lake Oroville emergency explained | An evacuee waits to return home
As California officials are frantically working to reduce water levels at the Oroville Dam, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says its preparing for the “worst case scenario.”
The agency has sent an eight-person incident management team to assist the state’s Office of Emergency Services to help prepare for the potentially devastating flooding that could affect communities below the dam, said Dr. Ahsha Tribble, acting regional administrator for FEMA’s Region 9. The regional office covers California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands.
FEMA representatives were dispatched to the Flood Operations Center in Sacramento, she said. The regional office has also called on other federal agencies to assist state officials if needed, Tribble said.
“We are trying to plan for the worst case scenario,” she said. “It’s not a wait-and-see game.”
So far, the agency is working to provide cots, blankets and water to more than 100,000 residents who were evacuated Sunday night, Tribble said.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of notice for folks to take notice,” she said.
According to Tribble, the agency has been working with state officials as well as the National Weather Service to prepare for any disasters from the recent rains.
“Over the last month, we went from drought to precipitation,” she said.
Tribble said the situation is still very active.
"The federal government is providing assistance and we are taking our cues from the state," she said.