"A long-term systemic failure."
The words leap off the opening page of the independent forensic report that examined the Oroville Dam crisis in February of last year. The dam's main spillway broke down, the emergency spillway — which had never before been used — was not in any shape to handle the water flows, and nearly 200,000 people had to evacuate.
We now have the final report from independent engineering consultants about what went wrong — and while the report clearly states that the incident "cannot reasonably be 'blamed' mainly on any one individual, group, or organization" the California Department of Water Resources sure comes in for a lot of criticism.
Assemblyman James Gallagher has been a vocal critic of the DWR response to the spillway crisis and its maintenance of the dam.