Monday, February 13, 2017

Return Of Cold Jogging Along Holliday Creek With No Threat From Lake Oroville Dam Failure

With the outer world temperature one degree short of being 20 degrees above freezing I decided to layer on the outer wear as best I could manage so as to have myself some endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation acquired via moving fast on the Circle Trail.

A steady breeze from the north today brought about that much dreaded wind chill factor. That factor somewhat abated when I switched my movement direction from heading north to heading south.

As you can see via the photo documentation dark clouds make rain appear likely.

I suspect Holliday Creek and its gorge, which you see part of above, would like to see some rain, as not much water is currently moving in Holliday Creek.

Last night an incoming  news alert informed me that the catastrophic failure of the Oroville Lake Dam was imminent within an hour. And that a large  swatch of California was ordered to evacuate ahead of the expected catastrophic wall of water.

I'd been watching the drama on that particular California dam since early last week. When I went to the live YouTube feed  of last night's ongoing dam situation that situation  quickly became muddled.

As in was the danger due to the erosion  in the main spillway which early in the week had been deemed not a serious problem? Or was the danger due to erosion on the emergency spillway? The news reporters seemed to be confused as to what the precise danger source was.

I watched the drama for about an hour, and then opted to cease with the watching. By morning the dam had not failed, the water level  was down, no catastrophic failure had occurred. But more rain is on the way.

I suspect today there are a lot  of Californians feeling a bit cranky that they were given a few minutes to evacuate due to failure being expected within the hour.

But it is always better to be safe than sorry.

And the Oroville Lake Dam has not  had its dam problem fixed, so a catastrophic failure could still happen.

Let's hope  not. In Washington I eye witnessed the destruction  resulting from a dike failure when a flooding Skagit River broke through the dike downstream from my home zone in Mount Vernon, causing Fir Island to be flooded.

A breech in the dike of a flooding river is a minor thing compared to the failure of a dam.

Currently I am living downstream a mile from a dam, the Lake Wichita Dam, which holds back the water of Holliday Creek. It would take one HUGE flood to breach the top of Lake Wichita Dam and cause a catastrophic failure. Or so it seems to me. But what do I know about dam engineering? Not much...

No comments: