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Officials Worked Blind as Oroville Dam Crisis Grew

The Associated Press gained access to the 35 pages of handwritten and typed notes take during emergency response meeting.

September 08, 2017
Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate near midnight February 12 when the Oroville Dam spillway collapsed

Notes taken during a emergency meeting indicate a lack of preparedness for the crisis unfolding as the Oroville Dam began collapsing, according to an Associated Press report.

The towering spillway at the nation's tallest dam was crumbling, and tens of thousands of people were fleeing for their lives. But as darkness fell, state officials realized dealing with the unfolding crisis in Northern California was about to get even worse: They couldn't see what was happening.

188,000 people were ordered to evacuate near midnight February 12 when the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam emergency spillway began collapsing. During an emergency meeting, officials tried to figure out the crisis and what action to take.

The Associated Press gained access to the 35 pages of handwritten and typed notes take during that meeting. The documents reveal a chilling lack of emergency preparedness before and during the near catastrophe. Read AP's  Lack of Cameras, Sensors Added to Confusion as Oroville Dam Crisis Grew here.

image: California Department of Water Resources

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