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Report: Bad Design And Construction Led To Oroville Spillway Crisis

CA - DWR / Twitter

CA - DWR / Twitter

An independent team of dam experts says bad design and construction led to the massive erosion problem at Lake Oroville's spillways this past winter.

The expert panel says the state probably could have foreseen the spillway failures if dam managers had used modern engineering standards to review the flaws in the structures' original design.

Erin Mellon is a spokeswoman for the California Department of Water Resources. 

"DWR agrees with the Independent Forensic Team that dam owners need to reassess current procedures as visual inspections would not have caught the February failure," says Mellon. "The additional spillway evaluations already underway are the start of that process."

Nearly 200,000 people were ordered to evacuate in February over concerns Oroville's emergency spillway could fail.

California Assemblyman James Gallagher represents those affected.

He say the findings are consistent with what he's been saying.

Gallagher introduced a bill earlier this year with the goal of improving the inspection process. 

It was killed in the Senate Appropriations Committee last week. 

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