Will Oroville Dam Spillways Drain California’s Political Swamp?

PHOTO: Torchy Blane/Winter Watch
Flooded cemetery

Imagine you’re one of 200,000 California residents displaced by the Oroville Dam spillways failure. Your cold, you’re tired, you’re worried. Hotels and motels are fully booked. You’ve missed work because the schools that care for your children during the day are closed. You hope emergency federal funds will help recover some your unforeseen costs, whether its lost income, temporary housing or repairs. You hear Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has requested emergency federal aid from the President Donald Trump.

However, since Presidential Inauguration Day, your governor and his fellow Democrat cronies at the state capitol have been openly displaying hostility toward America’s newly elected leader and have made it clear the state will buck the Trump administration’s agenda.

Brown said if Trump scraps climate research satellites, California would “launch its own damn satellite.” In his State of the State speech on Jan. 24, he promised to fight Trump on illegal immigration. And, as a response to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, Brown vows, “California is Not Turning Back, Not Now, Not Ever.”

Rather than having the foresight to read Art of the Deal and to learn to play Trump’s game so as to affect better outcomes for their constituents going forward, California Democrats have instead acted like self-righteous, entitled libtards.

Reports indicate that over the last few weeks, California Democrats occasionally took breaks from protesting and lobbying against the president in order to ask for money. On Feb. 8, they delivered a $100 billion list of projects in need of federal funding, including a rebuild of the Golden State’s system of crumbling roads and bridges and improvements to transit and water storage. That list doesn’t include money California is hoping to raise for its aging infrastructure nor emergency funds for January’s floods, which Brown requested Friday.

Furthermore, lawmakers were presented two weeks ago with Brown’s projection of a $1.6-billion budget deficit looming on the state’s fiscal horizon.

At the same time, the state is refusing to enforce federal immigration laws and has stopped cooperating with the FBI’s counter-terrorism division. Though California has essentially been a sanctuary state since 2013, Democrats are pushing forward a state “sanctuary bill” that will prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using their officers or jails to uphold federal immigration laws.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. 5:

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump said, reiterating his opposition to sanctuary cities, which he said “breed crime.” He signed an executive order in his first week in office that threatened to withhold federal funding for cities that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials.

“If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California. California in many ways is out of control, as you know.”

Trump said it wasn’t his preference to do so, and that states and cities should get money they need “to properly operate.”

But, “if they’re going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon,” he said.

It turns out that, like immigration, federal funds are NOT an entitlement.

Universities and infrastructure projects aren’t the only things that could lose federal funding. Trump can also withhold federal emergency funds, according to Dr. Ahsha Tribble, the acting FEMA Regional Administrator, who told CBS News, “Ultimately, the president has the final say in who and how disaster declarations get approved.”

On Saturday, when Oroville Dam’s main spillway showed signs of major damage, the cost estimate to for repairs was $200 million. Since then, the emergency spillway suffered serious erosion, which led to the evacuation of residents on Sunday. The tab for repairs is growing. Though the water level of the lake has since ceded, fresh storms will be rolling into the Sierra Nevadas on Thursday — the tentative day we’re told evacuated residents may return to their homes. But for how long? Meanwhile, Brown has sent yet another letter to the Commander in Chief requesting federal emergency funds.

Sorry, California, no soup for you!

Image result for oroville dam floodingSo imagine it. You’re living in your car for four days along with your dog, cat and kids. While you’re hoping for assistance, your governor is spitting in the eye of the man who has the ability to provide much-needed aid. Why? In order to keep illegal immigrants in the state and out of jails regardless of the crimes they commit. Thanks, libtards.

11 Comments on Will Oroville Dam Spillways Drain California’s Political Swamp?

  1. Well, lots of allusions across the Web to the possibility that the “erosion” was actually a triggered blast since supposedly the dam had been inspected consistently and recently and showed no signs of weakness or damage. Does make you wonder. I find it difficult to accept natural causes for any disaster or even death unless age is really a factor. If you think about it, what a dramatic way to achieve even more chaos, hundreds of homeless, no resolution imminent, a sudden evacuation, $millions lost. Sounds like a plan to me, question is- whose plan?

    • …during Katrina. Creates a huge need for Uncle Scam to come in, increase funding, strategy of tension. You name it. The last thing government can have us doing is sitting around being successful or saving money and wondering why we need them in our lives.

    • FWIW, I visited Oroville Dam for many hours on Saturday, spoke with engineers and was satisfied with their explanation. I didn’t want to get into the minutia of it here, but the media continues to do a horrible job covering the topic. So I’ll share what I know.

      Basically, when fast-running, deep water travels over concrete, even a small imperfection (new or old) can create a negative pressure bubble of sorts.
      Eventually, that bubble can create an “explosion” and hole in the concrete — or even metal. It’s that strong. This is what is believed to have happened Tuesday along the course of the main spillway at Oroville. It was a very small hole initially, but heavy outflows of rainwater from the dam quickly created a large sinkhole.

      The initial emergency response to the sinkhole was to close the gates of the dam, stop the water outflow and fill the sinkhole with boulders. Under less pressing conditions (due to rains), temporary concrete probably would be used to fill the sinkhole. However, there was no time for this because, while the gates were closed, the water in the lake was rapidly rising and began flowing over the secondary concrete spillway — the “emergency spillway” that looks like a wall or weir. This is what it’s for.

      However, it seems the amount of water that came over the emergency spillway was far greater than dam designers in the 1960s had ever anticipated. The width of the flow was wider than the weir-like spillway and the water began breaching an adjacent earthen berm.

      The main spillway gates were then partially re-oped (~35k cf/s), but it soon became apparent that the rock fill in the sinkhole was pointless. The heavy water washed away concrete, boulders, soil. By Saturday morning, we could see bedrock. Meanwhile, the heavy water flow over the emergency spillway began to erode the berm and the area at the base of the weir-like wall. Sounded like it was never designed for such intense, sustained flow.

      Sunday, they increased the outflow in the main spillway to 100k cf/s, but it didn’t immediately reduce the flow over the emergency spillway and berm. So by late Sunday afternoon, they called for an evacuation of low-lying areas.

      At a sustained 100k cf/s out of the gates, the lake is being adequately drained. The water receded from the emergency spillway and berm by late Monday and workers began bringing in rock to reinforce it. All is well for now and residents are moving back into their homes. Schools and state agencies remain closed through Friday.

      The next spate of rains is due to arrive tomorrow but word is that it won’t be as heavy or intense as last week’s series of warm storms. We shall see. Meanwhile, word is that Trump approved the emergency declaration for Oroville. But as long as the state continues to combat the fed rather than illegal immigration, I don’t it should anticipate any fed funds for non-emergency infrastructure projects.

  2. Theme here that strikes me, is the unfair game that the US federal government can engage in extortion because it can take the lion’s share of the tax money, & then not rebate it back to locals who need it but who paid it

    Not to deny that Jerry Brown & Californians are behaving like idiots

    But if Calfornians were taxing themselves … in other words; if the US Civil War of 1861-65 had not been won by the US Imperialist party … if the USA was like it should have remained under; in fact, the 1783 Articles of Confederation … then local states could sink or swim on their own

    And US federal judges & the US President & Congress would not be able to impose all sorts of bullshite on states who were free to leave

    The EU at least enshrined the right of secession in its treaties … which is now being implemented despite EU leaders whinging

  3. The environmental groups that said the dam needed reinforcement 10 years ago were Progressives who saw what could happen, but no one wanted their taxes increased to pay for it.

    The “taxes is bad” mantra contributed to this mess at Oroville.

    Civilization costs money to maintain.
    Progressives know that well.

    Conservatives are certainly using the crisis at Oroville to attack their perceived enemies, but it is the Conservative idea that “taxes are bad and should always be CUT and never increased” (you know, just like the drumbeat of, “government is always the problem”), that helped bring this problem about.

    True Progressives know things cost money, and are willing to pay some taxes for them.

    Democratic Party Centrists and Conservatives?
    Not so much.

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