over Trump, Putin-Russia, and the gaggle of nincompoops that the nincompoop in chief has surrounded himself with and pining for a CIA coup or impeachment (to install a President Pence) and a real war with Russia-Putin,

President Trump has embarked on the most aggressive campaign against government regulation in a generation, joining with Republican lawmakers to roll back rules already on the books and limit the ability of federal regulators to impose new ones.

This is on top of fifty years of bad government that has left us with $17 trillion in national debt and a public infrastructure that is crumbling.  At the moment, a potentially extremely dangerous crumble.

More than 100,000 people were told to evacuate from areas near Oroville Dam in Northern California on Sunday because officials feared that an emergency spillway could fail, sending huge amounts of water into the Feather River, which runs through downtown Oroville, and other waterways. But by late Sunday night, officials said the immediate threat had passed.

Engineers scrambled to release enough water from the reservoir to relieve pressure from the emergency spillway Sunday and apparently it worked. The lake’s water level had dropped several feet by Monday and crews were gathering giant boulders that helicopters would airlift to the emergency spillway and plop onto the area that was eroding, DWR said. ..

Scrambling because they don’t know if the fix will work and if it does, for how long.  More rain is in the forecast and precipitation this year hasn’t been all that predictable.  (The el Nino rains last year never arrived and the la Nina dry spell this year has been very wet.)

Meanwhile, the evacuation order remains in effect.  The integrity of the Oroville Dam is not in question (so far).  It’s the spillway and the emergency spillway (that has never before been used since the dam opened in 1968) that have been compromised.  If the emergency spillway goes, the downstream property damage will be extensive.  But there’s more:

Southern Californians have been drinking from the Feather River — and washing in it, flushing with it and sprinkling it over their lawns — for nearly a half century without giving it much thought, so the emergency at distant Oroville Dam provides a jolting reminder of our dependence on the wetter, northern part of the state. A disaster there could easily become a crisis here.

Oroville is the linchpin of the State Water Project, the massive engineering feat that brings Northern Sierra water from the Feather River to the Sacramento, through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, into the California Aqueduct, over the Tehachapis and to our faucets.
 —The Times Editorial Board

California State Water Project

The SWP collects water from rivers in Northern California and redistributes it to the water-scarce but populous south through a network of aqueducts, pumping stations and power plants. About 70% of the water provided by the project is used for urban areas and industry in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, and 30% is used for irrigation in the Central Valley.

California population

1960: 15.9 million (1960 SoCal 11.2 million; NorCal 4.7 million
Now: 38.9 million (2010 SoCal 22.7 million; NorCal 14.6)

The {Burns-Porter Act of 1959] bond was passed on an extremely narrow margin of 174,000 out of 5.8 million ballots cast.

California governor Pat Brown would later say it was to “correct an accident of people and geography”.

In real time, a high percentage of those in SoCal viewed NorCal water as a commodity that they needed and had a right to.  (Likely absorbed from the LATimes and real estate developers PR.  Chinatown II the movie that has yet to be made.)  Would have been a better idea if soon after all this planning and building, Californians decided that they didn’t want to pay for government and and elected GOP politicians that told them they didn’t have to.

UPDATE (Don’t turn up your nose at the source.) The best photo spread on the on-going emergency situation at the Oroville Dam is at Daily Mail. The huge and huge amount of rip rap that emergency workers are hauling up there isn’t easy to comprehend. The guys operating those vehicles have a certain degree of fearlessness. Necessary to do this sort of dangerous work. (One once got a chuckle out of how quickly I turned green as he drove us up the side of a rock quarry outside Yuba City, but I freely admit to being a wuss.)

UPDATE 2/14/17 – Authorities Lift Mandatory Evacuation Orders for Oroville Dam Emergency. Very welcome news for a couple hundred thousand residents.

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