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Power Plant At Base Of Oroville Dam Could Resume Operation Soon


Engineers are starting to contemplate how the spillway structure will be redesigned to operate long-term.

Matthew Murray is with the California Department of Water Resources, the state agency that manages the reservoir.

He believes the standards for spillways in the nation will absolutely change based on plans yet to be developed.

"We'll be the gold-star standard coming out of this event and we can be thankful that we're the first ones that are going to have this fixed and we don't need to worry so much," says Murray. "But, absolutely, the standards are going to be increased and we'd expect everyone to be reevaluating their own dams and spillways specifically throughout the United States, maybe the world."

This is both a state and federal project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is assisting in the long-term redesign process.

The power plant at the base of the Oroville Dam could resume operating as early as Friday.

That was one of the main goals this week for crews working to remove a massive amount of debris in a pond beneath the damaged spillway.

Managers of the Lake Oroville emergency situation say those workers are making good progress, which will help lower water levels at the Hyatt Power Plant.

It was shut down last month when pond levels rose to a point that made it unsafe to operate.

Once running, the plant can discharge water from the reservoir at a rate of up to 1,400 cubic feet per second.

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