An aerial view of the Oroville Dam main spillway in February 2017.
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Crisis at the Oroville Dam

An aerial view of the Oroville Dam main spillway in February 2017.

An aerial view of the water flowing out of the Oroville Dam main spillway, in Oroville, Calif., on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. 

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville dam
An aerial view of the water flowing out of the Oroville Dam’s main spillway on Feb. 21. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam
Reduced water releases at the Oroville Dam have made damage to its main spillway more visible. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam
With a reduced flow on Sunday, most of the water being released from the Oroville Dam is not going down the spillway; it has broken through and is flowing down the hillside. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam

With a reduced flow on Sunday, most of the water being released from the Oroville Dam is not going down the spillway, it’s broken through and is going down the hillside.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam

With a reduced flow on Sunday, most of the water being released from the Oroville Dam is not going down the spillway, it’s broken through and is going down the hillside.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Flooding in Maxwell

Juan Alvarez reassures his girlfriend, Sarah Hendrix, after helping her move out of her home in rural Maxwell. Water was a foot high and crews had to evacuate 100 people because of flooding-- some by boat.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Flooding in Maxwell

Ron Chambers lets Duke out of his crate for the first time in hours since the flooding began n Maxwell, Calif. on Saturday.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam
Kevin Anfinson and other volunteers help shovel the muddy sediment that has built up in the salmon raceway at the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville, Calif. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Gridley

Fernando Martinez and his mother, not pictured, wade through a road in Gridley, Calif., flooded by the Feather River as it continues to swell from the water being let out of Lake Oroville.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Gridley

A man in a 4x4 truck turns around on Gridley Road after having second thoughts about making it across the flooded road, which had been closed.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville

Randy Boheim packs up his tools and emergency supplies in anticipation of having to evacuate his whole family as floodwaters creep closer to his home in an Oroville, Calif., mobile home park. The nearby Feather River continued to swell from the water being let out of Lake Oroville ahead of this weekend’s storm.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville

A plantation in Oroville, Calif., sits in floodwaters as the Feather River continues to swell from the water being let out of Lake Oroville ahead of this weekend’s storm.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville

Helicopters ferry sand and rocks to the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway reconstruction project in Oroville, Calif., ahead of coming rains.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville

California Water Service district manager Toni Ruggle surveys the Feather River at Bedrock Park downstream from the Oroville Dam.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam

McKenna Harvey, 9, left, Kylie Atteberry, 11, and Brooklyn Atteberry, 7, hold signs thanking workers in the repair effort at the Oroville Dam.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam
A helicopter flies over as water flows from the main spillway at Lake Oroville. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam repairs
Reconstruction continues in a race to shore up the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville dam
As rain clouds gather, friends  from left, Johnny Eroh,  Cody Balmer, Kristien Bravo and Jerel Bruhn hang out by the flooded Feather river in the Bedrock neighborhood of Oroville, Calif., last week. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted
Evacuees at the Bangor Community Hall in Bangor, Calif., listen to Butte County sheriff’s deputies in February as the mandatory evacuation order was lifted. An evacuation advisory was lifted Wednesday. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted

Evacuees at the Bangor Community Hall get the news from Butte County sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Heath that the evacuation order has been lifted.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted

Evacuee Sharon Dalton, right, hugs Raiden Ellis, 10 months, and Chris Ellis as they say their goodbyes as she leaves the Bangor Community Hall in Bangor, Calif., on Tuesday.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted
David McGlamery returns to his Oroville home with his belongings after the evacuation order was lifted. The family had to retreat to Chico, where they initially stayed at a Walmart parking lot with other evacuees. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted

Bill Tirey helps family members move back into their home in the Bedrock neighborhood of Oroville near the Feather River after evacuation orders were lifted. 

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted

Maria Alancar returns home to greets her pet pig Bacon, who was left behind when the family moved to higher ground in Honcut, Calif.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted

Sulet Lopez, 21, left, Melissa Mendoza, 3, and Yeanet Lopez, 18, pack up their car at the Bangor Community Hall in Bangor, Calif., to head home after the evacuation order was lifted.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville residents return

Erica Stenholm, left, Ronnie Vaughan, and Brooklyn Jackson, 7, unpack their car upon returning home after the evacuation order had been lifted in Oroville.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Evacuation order lifted

Jonah Avina, left, and his wife, Eileen, pray before lunch at the Maranatha Mennonite Fellowship in Bangor, Calif., on Tuesday. The Bangor-area Mennonites are hosting several immigrant families evacuated from the nearby town of Honcut. 

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuation

Evacuee Estafani Reynoso, left, colors with Mennonite children at the Maranatha Mennonite Fellowship in Bangor, Calif.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam
Crews work on a damaged section of the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville on Monday. (Josh Edelson / AFP/ Getty Images)
Oroville dam

An Oroville property is flooded on Monday as thousands were under evactuation orders. 

 (Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images)
Marysville cemetery

The Marysville cemetery underwater along the Feather River.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuees

Nirmal Singh, a Sikh priest, conducts a morning prayer ritual as evacuees sleep in the background at the Shri Guru Ravidass, a Sikh temple that has opened its doors for evacuees of the Oroville Dam crisis in Rio Linda, Calif.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuees

Kamlesh Nahar, far left, talks to fellow evacuees at the Shri Guru Ravidass Temple.

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuee

Maria Lopez reads on her smartphone as she spends a second night in her father’s car in the parking lot of the Bangor Community Hall.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuee

Sharon Dalton finds a quiet spot under a table as she spends a second night with her dog Cruiser inside the Bangor Community Hall.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuees

Verna Chadwick and 10-month-old son Raiden Ellis during a second night in the Bangor Community Hall.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Thousands evacuated near Oroville Dam

The emergency spillway, left, and the damaged main spillway at Lake Oroville are seen in an aerial photo Monday.

 (Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images)
Oroville Dam

A dump truck crosses the primary spillway to deliver boulders to the damaged emergency spillway at Lake Oroville on Monday evening.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam

Helicopters place large rocks on the damaged emergency spillway at Lake Oroville on Monday evening.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville Dam

Around-the-clock monitoring continues on the damaged primary spillway at Lake Oroville on Monday evening.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Spillway damage at Lake Oroville

An aerial view shows damage at the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville.

 (Randy Pench / Sacramento Bee)
Spillway damage at Lake Oroville
Water rushes down a spillway at the Oroville Dam.  (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Spillway damage at Lake Oroville
California Department of Fish and Game wardens view the damaged spillway on Monday. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuations

Bill O’Kelley, 86, and wife Doris O’Kelley, 84, of Oroville sit near a flagpole Monday at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds evacuation center in Chico, Calif.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuations

Coua Tha, of Oroville prepares a meal for her family in the parking lot at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds evacuation center in Chico, Calif.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuations

Desiree Garcia and daughter Kay’lee Pearl Garcia, 3, of Oroville look over donated clothing Monday at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds evacuation center in Chico, Calif.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oroville evacuations

Members of Oroville’s Jordan Crossing Mission pray with a volunteer service member Monday at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds evacuation shelter in Chico, Calif.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Feather River

The swollen Feather River flows through Oroville, Calif., on Monday. 

 (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Oroville evacuations

A building is submerged in Riverbend Park as more water is released from Lake Oroville.

 (JOSH EDELSON / AFP)
Oroville evacuations

Siblings Zach Soto, 11, left, and Gabby Soto, 13, keep an eye on the Feather River along a railroad bridge in Oroville, Calif., on Monday. The family decided to stay in Oroville as they live on high ground near downtown.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Spillway damaged at Lake Oroville

Water from the Oroville Dam Auxiliary Spillway at Lake Oroville has eroded the roadway to the spillway boat ramp. 

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Spillway damaged at Lake Oroville

Water flows from the Oroville Dam Auxiliary Spillway at Lake Oroville; it has eroded the roadway just below the spillway that led to a boat ramp.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Spillway damaged at Lake Oroville

Water flows from the Oroville Dam Auxiliary Spillway.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Oroville Dam evacuations

California Highway Patrol Officer Ken Weckman directs traffic as residents evacuate Marysville, Calif., on Sunday.

 (Paul Kitagaki Jr. / The Sacramento Bee)
Lake Oroville overflow
Water flows down the damaged main spillway of the Oroville Dam at 55,000 cubic feet per second into the Feather River. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Lake Oroville overflow

Water from Lake Oroville flows down the damaged main spillway.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Lake Oroville overflow

Water from Lake Oroville flows down the emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam toward the Feather River.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Lake Oroville overflow

Pacific Gas & Electric crews aided by a helicopter removed transmission lines and insulators from towers standing in the bed of the emergency spillway of Lake Oroville.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

A rainbow appears over Feather River as water cascades down the damaged spillway at Lake Oroville Dam.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville
Water cascades down the spillway below Oroville Dam. The water is being released by authorities to avoid flooding at Lake Oroville because of recent heavy rain. (David Butow / For The Times)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews move two electric transmission line towers on the bank of Feather River as a precaution if the Lake Oroville Dam emergency spillway needs to be used.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

A California Highway Patrol cruiser patrols Lake Oroville Dam, which is closed to the public due to the damaged spillway.

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

Water cascades down the spillway below the Oroville dam. The water is being released by authorities to ease flooding in Lake Oroville because of recent heavy rain.

 (David Butow / For the Times)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

Butte Country Sheriff Kory L. Honea speaks with department of water and power workers at an overlook as the observe runoff from the Oroville Dam.

 (David Butow / For the Times)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

Water trickles down as workers inspect part of the Lake Oroville spillway failure in Oroville, Calif.

 (Randy Pench / Associated Press)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

The California Department of Water Resources initially suspended flows from the Oroville Dam spillway after a concrete section eroded on the middle section of the spillway. The state has resumed releases.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

The California Department of Water Resources initially suspended flows from the Oroville Dam spillway after a concrete section eroded on the middle section of the spillway. It has resumed releases.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

The California Department of Water Resources suspended flows from the Oroville Dam spillway after a concrete section eroded on the middle section of the spillway. The releases have resumed.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

The California Department of Water Resources suspended flows from the Oroville Dam spillway after a concrete section eroded on the middle section of the spillway. The releases have resumed.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

The California Department of Water Resources stopped the spillway flow on Thursday morning to allow engineers to evaluate the integrity of the structure after water had been released at 20,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) through the night. The releases have been resumed.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Major sinkhole on spillway at Lake Oroville

The California Department of Water Resources suspended flows from the Oroville Dam spillway after a concrete section eroded on the middle section of the spillway. The releases have been resumed.

 (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)
Lake Oroville

A boat launch at Bidwell Canyon is still hundreds of yards above the current lake level on Jan. 21, 2016. 

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Lake Oroville

California State Park Ranger Bryan Taylor searches for signs of disturbance or theft as California’s severe drought conditions are revealing historic artifacts at Lake Oroville, June 21, 2014.

 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Lake Oroville

Severe drought conditions are evident as a family treks across a long path back to their car at Lake Oroville, June 21, 2014.

 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Lake Oroville

Houseboats are dwarfed by steep banks that show the water level down 160 feet from the high water mark at the Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge over Lake Oroville on June 21, 2014. 

 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Lake Oroville

Houseboats at Bidwell Canyon Marina at Lake Oroville, January 21, 2016. 

 (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
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