State Water Agency Unlikely to Meet Deadlines to Repair Oroville Reservoir, Expert Says

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An engineering expert who visited the troubled Oroville Reservoir said this week that it would be nearly impossible for the state to complete temporary repairs to its fractured and eroded main spillway by a target date of Nov. 1.

Reconstruction continues in a race to shore up the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

In a report submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week, a panel of five independent consulting engineers warned that “a significant risk would be incurred” if the main spillway was not operational after October, which is the traditional start of California’s rainy season.

However, an engineering and risk management expert who was not part of the consulting panel told The Times this week that he doubted the state could meet such a close deadline.

“I think that is a challenging timeline,” said Robert Bea of UC Berkeley’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management.

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