Twice-tested Butte County better prepared for disaster evacuations

On the 2-year anniversary of the discovery of the deep gash on the Oroville Dam spillway and subsequent evacuation, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the community is better prepared in the event of a similar incident.

Honea, whose leadership was lauded during the spillway scare and reinforced during the deadly Camp Fire, said lessons from the spillway evacuation helped them on November 8.

"What turned out to be the practice of evacuating people in the face of threat not only better prepared our community but certainly better prepared our first responders," said Honea. "And I think there is evidence to support that."

Since the 2017 flood fear that evacuated 188,000 people over several counties, Butte County has set-up a detailed flood disaster plan separated into 11 zones covering the cities of Oroville, Thermalito, Palermo, Biggs and Gridley.

It includes detailed information on where evacuees should go and what route to take if a flood should actually occur.

Honea said if the two evacuations that struck the county in a 21-month period isn't enough for residents to learn to prepared he doesn't know what will.

"I guess I go back to that old adage," said Honea. "'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't necessarily make it drink.'"

To learn what zone you live in and what routes to take in the event of an evacuation you can log onto this website.

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