SoCal Drought over?

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Submitted by The-Shoveler on January 7, 2017 - 9:12am

A little early maybe but I think we are over this.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on January 7, 2017 - 9:14am.

'State of panic' grips Northern California as atmospheric river approaches the Sierra Nevada.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me...

Submitted by spdrun on January 7, 2017 - 12:25pm.

This is a break in the drought, only time will tell whether the next few years will be wet or dry.

Submitted by mixxalot on January 7, 2017 - 3:27pm.

I predict more rain as we had years of drought. Could be the wet period for La Nina?

Submitted by Escoguy on January 7, 2017 - 10:01pm.

There is a good weather blog I follow:

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com

He has a posting on the drought and knows far more than me about this.

Key point: there was a high pressure ridge off the Pacific Northwest for the past few years which got in the way of the normal rains. That is gone now, so unless it comes back, we should be out of the drought.

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 8, 2017 - 9:45am.

It doesn't matter if the drought is over or not.

The water restrictions, water cops and everything else isn't going away.

Mandates for green power.
Mandates for waste reduction.
Mandates for CO2 reductions.
Mandates for water reductions.

That's all one giant $ gravy trough and you need to get in and slurp some up.

Submitted by Escoguy on January 8, 2017 - 10:07am.

We got rebates for two lawns. Should have done a third.

We've done the solar thing on five properties: 14% ROI = 10K in annual cash flow with 70K investment.

we have two plug in cars, may upgrade to a Model 3 or another 200+ mile range EV in next 2 years.

so we're on it and it does save money. admittedly, there may be pressure to cut back on some if this if we hit a serious recession, hopefully Trump will succeed (didn't vote for him) so we get moderate growth for near future.

Submitted by JerseyGrl on January 12, 2017 - 5:06pm.
Submitted by CA renter on January 13, 2017 - 12:04am.

JerseyGrl wrote:
a little bit of history:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atmospheric-rivers-california-megaflood-lessons-from-forgotten-catastrophe/

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing that article, JerseyGrl.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 13, 2017 - 10:44am.

JerseyGrl wrote:
a little bit of history:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/artic...

That's what happens when you pray.

Submitted by njtosd on January 18, 2017 - 12:18am.

CA renter wrote:
JerseyGrl wrote:
a little bit of history:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atmospheric-rivers-california-megaflood-lessons-from-forgotten-catastrophe/

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing that article, JerseyGrl.

Wow. Yes indeed. Thanks!

Submitted by svelte on January 18, 2017 - 2:28am.

dupe.

Submitted by svelte on January 18, 2017 - 2:26am.

That is a great article.

Something you all probably don't know: I lived in Marysville/YC for many moons.

I have been a part of that community during one major flood (1980s), heard tales of the earlier flood (1950s), and witnessed many near breaches of the levees in other years. It has permanently affected the way my wife and I live our life. We intentionally didn't buy homes near the San Luis Rey River and always keep our gas tanks over half full. Live under threat of flood and you'll know why.

In my opinion the only reason they haven't seen more flooding on the scale of what was described in the article is increases in flood controls - the levee system has been greatly increased and many dams were built to contain runoff to a large degree. SoCal folks don't even talk about Oroville Dam, but that is a magnificent creation. Shasta and Oroville Dams do an enormous amount to protect everything downstream including Sac and bay areas.

The threat of flood is unlike that of tornado or earthquake...those two events are over very shortly after the residents even knew they were coming. Floods on the other hand build slowly over a period of time. People lose sleep, worry about their family, and can barely function while the waters rise. This can go on for days or weeks, depending on the weather.

Submitted by NotCranky on January 20, 2017 - 9:11am.

I was at Oroville last 4th of July and the lake was up from the terrible low of the year before , but now it's nearing capacity, so , what then if we really do get an "atmospheric river" ?

Maybe CA should not secede just yet, bring in FEMA?

Looks like the county of SD is going to get soaked today and over the weekend!

Be safe out there!

Submitted by mixxalot on January 20, 2017 - 10:55am.

Funny that you should mention Oroville as that is where my folks live. Nice country place and dirt cheap compared to San Diego but then again there are no high paying jobs up there.

Submitted by svelte on February 10, 2017 - 9:48am.

svelte wrote:
SoCal folks don't even talk about Oroville Dam, but that is a magnificent creation. Shasta and Oroville Dams do an enormous amount to protect everything downstream including Sac and bay areas.

Problems at Oroville - the spillway is collapsing.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Orovi...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

The water is still rising and expected to go over the Emergency Spillway (unpaved) by Saturday.

We're in uncharted territory here as that spillway has never been used.

Submitted by Hobie on February 10, 2017 - 1:29pm.

Place your bets: Will they allow emergency spillway to take the water or will they open up the regular spillway 100%?

My bet is they will sacrifice the regular spillway.

Pretty wild situation.

Submitted by spdrun on February 10, 2017 - 1:37pm.

The spillway isn't the dam itself -- it's just a path for water to flow down. Is there any actual risk to using the regular spillway, other than the need for concrete repairs after the lake is drained?

Submitted by no_such_reality on February 10, 2017 - 2:56pm.

Do you think they'd say 'we screwed the pooch', even if did?

They say no. They say it's just the spill way and not the dam, but look at his picture.

I'll admit I'm not a dam engineer, but high energy water erodes really quickly through soft-ground.

Frankly, I'd be more concerned about the top break, here's the closeup.

What happens when that spillway is gone from the top break to the bottom of the spillway and basically carved out like a flat wall?

Submitted by spdrun on February 10, 2017 - 3:59pm.

I didn't see pics of the top break. If I lived downriver from that thing, I'd be considering taking a vacation for a week or two.

Submitted by svelte on February 10, 2017 - 4:20pm.

no_such_reality wrote:

What happens when that spillway is gone from the top break to the bottom of the spillway and basically carved out like a flat wall?

Yeah, I'm pretty concerned that all of the hill downstream could erode away, then the erosion slowly works it way upstream.

As that happened more and more, less hillside would buttress the main earth dam and well you know what could happen when the weight of the water behind the dam overrules the buttress.

Still unlikely I would think, but if it keeps raining...

Submitted by svelte on February 10, 2017 - 5:52pm.

no_such_reality wrote:
Do you think they'd say 'we screwed the pooch', even if did?

Probably not right away, but there would be a time when they would start evacuating folks. That happened in the 1980s. As I recall, the levee broke at night in the Marysville suburb of Linda.

The most common story I heard about the 1950s levee breach in Marysville proper was that everyone thought the levee was going to break in Yuba City (the two cities are on opposite sides of the river). Car dealers moved their new cars from YC to Marysville. Everyone evacuated YC. Then the levee broke in Marysville. Oy.

It is quite a sight to see when the water rises so high it is at the crest of the levee on both sides of the river. Gives me goosebumps. I go fill my gas tank.

Submitted by no_such_reality on February 10, 2017 - 5:54pm.

Yea, so much depends on the nature and structure of the bedrock anchoring the dam.

Water though is currently flowing into the reservoir at 130,000 CFS, the spillway is currently taking roughly 75,000 CFS out and the dam is basically full.

The dam is 700+ feet high and granted, it isn't vertical, more like a 45 degree slope and it is water, but with erosion each CFS basically becomes a 8 lb piece of liquid sandpaper.

That's a lot of sandpaper...

Submitted by svelte on February 10, 2017 - 6:00pm.

svelte wrote:

The most common story I heard about the 1950s levee breach in Marysville proper was that everyone thought the levee was going to break in Yuba City (the two cities are on opposite sides of the river). Car dealers moved their new cars from YC to Marysville. Everyone evacuated YC. Then the levee broke in Marysville. Oy.

I have it backwards - everyone evacuated ppl/cars to YC from Marysville in 1955...then the levee broke in YC. I should have remembered that, I've been in homes where the 1955 water line is still visible in closets in homes in YC. At the top of the closet.

Submitted by svelte on February 11, 2017 - 12:22am.

Great analysis here...

https://www.metabunk.org/oroville-dam-sp...

from the looks of the bedrock shown, looks like we are far from disaster.

Submitted by NotCranky on February 11, 2017 - 12:07pm.

svelte wrote:
Great analysis here...

https://www.metabunk.org/oroville-dam-sp...

from the looks of the bedrock shown, looks like we are far from disaster.


Probably far from disaster. It looks like the main spill way has about 20 feet of decomposed granite between the manmade concrete chute and the bedrock. Unless at some point the concrete is laying on bedrock directly there is nothing to stop it from eroding all the way to the top. If the operators had to shut the spillway gates could the emergency spill way hold up? Just some questions.

Submitted by no_such_reality on February 11, 2017 - 8:48pm.

I suspect we will find out it's currently going over the emergency spillway still slow. Looks like it's doing a pretty good job of removing the overburden from the bedrock.

The water levels have, surprise, messed up their water release plans. They've slowed the main spillway and had to shutdown an auxiliary generator that took another 12000 CFS because the concrete broken out of the spillway is backing water up.

Good news its becoming sunny. For three days. Then the longer range forecast says basically 6 straight days of rain in Oroville and up land from the lake.

Submitted by spdrun on February 12, 2017 - 7:28pm.

Oroville being evacuated:
http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/califor...

Right, and 45's last tweet is whinging about fake news. No word about an actual situation that can potentially kill thousands.

Submitted by svelte on February 12, 2017 - 7:38pm.

A lot more than Oroville is being evacuated:

" The Yuba County Office of Emergency Services asked residents in the valley floor, including Marysville, a city of 12,000 people, to evacuate and take routes to the east, south, or west and avoid traveling north toward Oroville."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/water-flow-sl...

"OROVILLE, Butte County — Butte County residents near Lake Oroville, including the entire town of Oroville and nearby regions, were ordered to evacuate Sunday evening after the emergency spillway next to the reservoir’s dam suffered a possible structural failure, officials said.
“There has been severe erosion of the emergency spillway and a possible structural breach that could send uncontrolled water down the stream,” said Chris Orrock, a spokesman with the California Department of Water Resources.

Residents downstream from Lake Oroville to the Sutter County line were under mandatory evacuation order. Counties around the reservoir, the second largest in the state, down to Sacramento were warned about the possibility of flooding.

Department of Water Resources officials issued a statement just before 4:45 p.m. that the “auxiliary spillway at the dam was predicted to fail within the hour.”

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Lake-...

"Traffic was bumper to bumper as residents of Oroville, Biggs and Gridley headed slowly out of the possible flood zone eastbound on Highway 162.
“This is very serious,” said Scott McClean, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection who was in the evacuation traffic. “From what I understand it’s the auxiliary spillway at a point of possible collapse. I’m just trying to get through traffic.”

This is serious shit. Luckily the dam proper is not threatened, but still plenty of damage possible from collapse of the emergency spillway...

evacuationevacuation

Submitted by NotCranky on February 13, 2017 - 9:48am.

Here is a link to the best video image of what was going on at the emergency spillway. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/12/us/califor... Flows there have receded now ,but by putting the damaged main spillway back on higher flows.

I wonder if there are pumps that could be brought onsite that can even begin to help move this amount of water? I pretty much doubt it. I guess they want to get it down 50 feet in case of new storm flow. Hope they can, and that it's enough.

Submitted by spdrun on February 13, 2017 - 2:46pm.

The water will flow downhill, so pumps aren't really needed.

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