While our neighbors along the Feather River to the north suffered from mandatory evacuations in the potential flood plain of Lake Oroville over the weekend, Riverbank area weather featured several days with measurable rainfall this past week. Those rainy periods were followed by clear spells and the weekend included a very sunny, mild Sunday that saw many people taking advantage of the break in the weather to get outside for some yard work, exercise and recreation.
Although more precipitation is forecast toward the end of this week and over the coming weekend, it likely won’t mean local evacuations. Residents might want to have the sandbags ready, though, just in case they need to protect some low lying property.
Further north, residents of Oroville, Marysville, Yuba City and other points along the Feather River were directed to evacuate immediately on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 12. All those who lived in the low lying areas were deemed to be in danger of flooding when the ‘overtopping’ of the emergency spillway of the suddenly full Lake Oroville cause unexpected erosion. That threatened the integrity of the structure, sending residents fleeing to the south, west and east.
Earlier damage to the regular spillway caused the state Department of Water Resources to limit flows down the spillway while they assessed the damage. That, in turn, put them behind the amount of water flowing into the lake, causing it to rise to unprecedented levels.
State officials noted that the emergency spillway – up until this latest winter weather event – had not been used in the 49-year history of the facility.