City of Oroville suing the state over damages from Oroville Dam emergency

Oroville Dam Main Spillway.jpg

The City of Oroville is suing the state of California over losses and damages resulting from the Oroville Dam Spillway failure in February 2017. The city alleges the spillway failure caused damage to city roads, infrastructure, and accumulated substantial costs to evacuate more than 180,000 residents.

Heavy winter rains pushed Lake Oroville to capacity, forcing large amounts of water over the main spillway. When a crack in the chute turned into a massive hole, the Department of Water Resources allowed the emergency spillway to be used for the first time. When the emergency spillway began to deteriorate, the decision was made to evacuate all of lower Oroville.

The city says the crisis has also been a blow to Oroville's economy and tax base, and filing a complaint is the first step in its lawsuit to recover losses.

More details are expected to be revealed at a news conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. on the Butte County Superior Courthouse steps.

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