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Officials: Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway May Not Be Used

OROVILLE, Butte County (KCBS) – With a break in the weather and increased outflow from Oroville Dam's heavily damaged spillway, state officials said they no longer believe the swollen reservoir will breach the dam's emergency spillway.

On Friday morning, officials announced they think they can avoid using the dam's emergency spillway, which they've been working feverishly to avoid.

Earlier this week, chunks of concrete went flying off the emergency spillway, creating a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep hole.

The emergency structure feeds into an unlined ravine, and the water would propel soil, trees and other debris into the Feather River.

The spillway has not been used in the dam's 48 year history, but the reservoir came within one foot of flowing over back in January 1997.

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