Author Topic: Lots of snow, part 2  (Read 13300 times)

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2017, 04:49:11 PM »
so far so good here!  the rivers by me are flowing like crazy!  most of the gates on the dams are open.. and water is flowing thru. i am sure you have read/heard about Oroville...now there is some excitement:)  lots of trees have come down, and there have been some roads wash out..and mudslides closing roads for periods of time.. not to mention the blizzard conditions over the summits....  I am impressed with the wind speeds this winter.. so crazy! 

since my biggest complaints are not being able to sleep due to the winds, and having troubles keeping my firewood dry, I know I am doing just fine:)

next storm due in Thursday...   but until then ,,,SUNSHINE!!!!!!

thanks Trev:)
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

Scout

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1063
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2017, 08:23:42 AM »
The sun is out this morning, seems like the first time in weeks. Not necessarily warmer, but it's sunny! The last week has been above freezing, for the most part, so the snow is consolidating a little, not quite so deep, some melting and runoff, puddles on the roads, Little Round Valley has standing water in it. Rock Creek Road has been opened and closed a few times, with all the various snow types we've had, the avalanche danger must be causing the closures.
I finally got rid of the last of the ice cap in my driveway, it's been there for weeks, inches thick, it made parking, and walking, an adventure. Most of the roofs have shed, I had a cornice over my front steps that was about three feet of ice that we had to chip apart, now it's gone....much nicer going in and out now.
Amazing winds on Friday ( I like listening to the wind at night) but no real damage...one of the tarps covering my wood pile is now hanging from the top of a telephone pole next door, but that's it. No idea how I'll get it back...
The main problem is finding a place to take Maggie for a walk...we're getting tired of the one plowed road that has no traffic on it. We're both ready for summer.

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2017, 05:04:22 PM »
something is very wrong at oroville... emergency evacuations gong on.  they are expecting the emergency spillway to fail,,,
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

retired96

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2017, 05:27:03 PM »
Just read that about the Oriville dam,,, that could be a disaster..

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2017, 06:09:35 PM »
they are evacuating everything along the feather river... i am glued to the news, and if this breaks, the town of Oroville is toast cause it is built right in the river...   

then of course, the Feather  river continues to the Sacramento River...which is runnng high already... so even if the levies on the Sacramento river hold, that much water will go right over the top of them...   

Marysville, Wheatland, and many more being told to evacuate...  the view of the line of cars trying to get. out of town is amazing from the news chopper. 

as for me, i am far enough away, and higher in elevation.. that i am fine...    but wow, this could be beyond really bad for an awful lot of folks...
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2017, 06:40:49 PM »
well there is an ounce of good news... they have doubled the output on the regular spillway (yes, the broken one) , and the lake level is starting to drop.. they are estimating 2 hours untill the level drops below the emrgency spillway..   if it holds till then, then they can get in and inspect the erosion, and fill it with large rocks..  cal fire's crane choppers are there ready to haul rock..   

of course, if the hole works its way under the wall, well then all bets off.

our next group of storms starts weds night...  so they will keep dropping the level of the lake until then.  at least this set of storms is supposed to be cold ones, whch means more snow above the dam than rain.

Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2017, 08:16:43 AM »
all is well this morning... or rather, better than expected...   the lake is still going lower,, they are letting out 100,000 cfs.. and the water flowing in has lowered to 40,000 cfs...  at this rate, the lake drops 1 foot every 3 hours..    and the Feather river can handle taking away the 100,000 cfs without damage to the neighborhoods...

over 200,000 people are under mandatory evacuations.... since this is a rural area,, that is a lot of area that has been evacuated.  entire communities are empty.  Beale AFB even opened a road thru the base last night to give the evacuees another way out..

a story I hadn't really thought about... but an elderly lady had left her home quickly, and she does not have a cell phone.  well she left her address book at home, and was so stressed out, she could not remember her son's phone number.. she got to the gas station, and then did not know how to get to the evacuation center...   and it turns out she was not alone.   thank goodness the gas station gathered these folks together, got the red cross there.. and the red cross was able to contact familys.. including the lady who could not remember her sons phone number.  and now those seniors are all safe and sound at the fairgrounds with a warm breakfast in their tummies:)

they will be filling the hole cause by the water flowing over the spillway with rocks and concrete today...  at this time, it does not appear to have made its way under the spillway wall, so that is a good thing..    Cal fire helicopters are there to do the heavy lifting of the rock bags to the hole, and their hand crews are there to do whatever work needs to be done below the spillway...   at least those folks know how to work quickly in undesirable conditions...

meanwhile, the normal spillway,,, aka: the broken spillway, seems to be holding up to the 100,000 cfs outflow...  so the water is flowing...   everyones fingers are crossed that the broken spillway can keep letting that amount of water out of the lake.  they want to lower the lake by 50 feet if they can. 

next rain starts weds night..... first 2 storms will be weds night thru Monday... luckily, still being forecast as colder storms, which means snow, and not rain, at higher elevations above the dam.
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

playingmenace

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1783
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2017, 10:44:34 AM »
I'm hearing that area will receive another 2-4" starting Weds. night. They need to continue to aggressively drain that water.

I haven't heard of the "why" this happened. Weak design? Improper maintenance? Maybe they're not sure till water levels drop.

Prayers sent for all in the area.
Life without music, laughter, and an Eastern Slope BBQ would be a mistake.

Remember Wounded Warriors

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2017, 11:25:57 AM »
well the 'why' is the dam is over 40 years old.... the emergency spillway has never been used..so this is its first run. 

the other why was 20 feet of snow, then a tropical storm came thru and melted it, which filled the reservoir up very quickly.... and they could only let out what the Feather River could handle

then the 'normal' spillway somehow developed a crack.. and then a hole...so they had to cut back the out flow to examine that.    so for a bit, there was over 160,000 cfs coming in.. and they were only letting 55,000 out in order to save the now 'broken' spillway...   (plus the 5000 that can go thru the electrical plant at the base of the dam.) 

so they were hoping that when the water went over the overflow spillway, and with the limited flow going out the real, yet now broken spillway, all would be well.   but then they spotted a rut developing in the ground below the emergency spillway.. and if that rut continued to grow at the speed it was, it would reach the foundation of the the emergency spillway...and fears of that taking out the emergency spillway wall itself,, which is 30 feet high.   so it was get everyone out that are below the dam, and open up the real spillway to 100,000 to get the lake down.. luckily the inflow had slowed to 40,000..   so they were able to slow the flow over the emergency immediately, which slowed the erosion,, and withen a few hours, the water level fell below the emergency spillway.  so today it is fix the hole,, continue to drain the lake.... and get ready for the rain..

its that 30 foot wall of water that is the problem.. it would occur if the emergency spillway gave way at once.. the feather river cannot handle that.. it would take out all of the towns below the dam. 

so far, the real spillway has lost about the bottom half of it... it is 1700 yards long.. so now its 850 yards long... they need to keep that as intact as possible so it doesn't erode back to the dam.

the continued rain up here has not allowed them to do any repairs on the spillway... we have been running 11-14 days of rain.. then 2 days off, then repeat.... over and over.. this is the first 5 days without rain we have had... it is crazy.
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

playingmenace

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1783
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2017, 01:02:28 PM »
Thanks for the response LHR.

But 40 years isn't that old really. We built good stuff 80 years ago and more. Example given is Boulder/Hoover Dam. Seems to me Oroville was designed to handle the conditions you mentioned, it just failed any way. I'm sure we'll learn soon enough.

Agreed, the priority needs to be to get people out of the inundation area and then the very best temp fix until better times.

Life without music, laughter, and an Eastern Slope BBQ would be a mistake.

Remember Wounded Warriors

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2017, 01:44:13 PM »
but did it fail?    the dam is still standing...   it may be having issues.. but it is working:)

found out the dam was built in the 60's...    I am sure a lot of folks would like to find out what cause the main spillway to go..  it was inspected just a few weeks ago, and no one spotted any hiccups in it at that time..  but somehow, a sink hole opened below it..

looks to me like the emergency spillway wasn't given all the bells and whistles..it only has a very short concrete apron in front of it.. and they added a lot of that this week!  it has a long slope of dirt below it that the water has chewed thru.  so glad they caught it tho before the rut got back to the foundation of the wall.    if the lake had ever been overfull before, they may have been able to find this out.  but this is its first test run... 
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

bj

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1981
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2017, 03:19:34 PM »
I was finishing civil engineering at San Diego State in 1960 and had put off taking the required dreaded speech class until the last possible time. One of the speech assignments was "To Convince" so I picked the speech to convince people to vote for the State Water Project which included bonds for the Oroville Dam. NJ has assured me that my speech was not responsible for the dam. Here's hoping they can pull off the necessary repairs in time for the next batch of storms.
" Rock on..........Rock the Creek"
Hardrock

retired96

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2017, 09:04:48 PM »
I read that in 2005 lawsuits were filed regarding regarding the exact problems we are now seeing with the dam....No matter what the problem is it has to be fixed properly. A massive failure would effect tens of thousands of people and end up costing billions in damage. 

Packer

  • Rock Creek Guide
  • *****
  • Posts: 934
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2017, 09:19:44 AM »
The power of water....it is always under estimated.
Pack it in, Pack it out...or have a Wrangler do it for you.

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2017, 09:53:37 AM »
lol! BJ...   as I am sure you know, NJ is always right...  (hi Norma!)   so you are not responsible for the dam:)

as for 2005, yes, it appears that there was a lot of hoopla that is now coming back to the surface..complaints filed, recommendations made...  which look like they were ignored due to no money, and no rain for years on end...

as for this morning.. 'our dam is still there'   I have found my self changing the words of our national anthem a bit..  especially that first night when we could only see clips of it when the 'spotlights white glare' from the helo's were shining on it... each time we could see it was still there. 

retired..   'they' posted a flood map of expected flood area if it failed.. OMG!   the area was HUGE!  it far exceeds the area they have already evacuated at this time..they figure there would be enough time to get folks out of harms way in the farther out areas.

as to the power of water.. all of this was caused by an amount of water that is supposed to be less than half of the dams capacity to flow thru it...    holy cow.  (they run the dam at the less than half level because that is the flow that the Feather river can handle without flooding ...   they raise the flow higher, and the river floods..)

Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

playingmenace

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1783
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2017, 11:57:33 AM »
I heard last night that there were monies allocated for maintenance repair and State officials thought it was a waste of money and wanted to spend it on a high speed train. SMH.
Life without music, laughter, and an Eastern Slope BBQ would be a mistake.

Remember Wounded Warriors

Trev Dog

  • Rock Creek Local
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2017, 04:08:15 PM »
Looks like the residents of Oroville and surrounding communities can go back home. Great job by the crews involved in this situation! :clap:  :clap:

Corey Baer

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1016
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2017, 07:20:04 AM »
Yes but what happens on Friday ??  It's supposed to be another big storm , I hope it holds ...
The Creek is Waiting...

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2017, 08:11:33 AM »
interesting.. a lot of folks do not want to go home yet... so the shelters are staying open.  would I want to go back if I lived right below that monster?  I don't think so.. this is a huge wake up call.

our rain starts tomorrow... and its not supposed to be a big rain maker.. about 3-4 inches should fall above the dam.  and luckily, the higher elevations will receive snow, so that is less runoff going into the lake..    'they' are coming up with numbers that the 100,000 cfs that they are letting out.. (ok, its down to 97,000 now) will exceed the amount of water coming in, so the lake will continue to lower during the rain, tho at a slower rate.    there are several storms lined up.. we are looking at a ten day span of rain.  I haven't seen any expected rain totals for that 10 days yet.. just the first front coming thru Thursday and Friday.  to compare to the last round.. which lasted 11 days,  it was 4 - 8 inches of rain everyday for the 11 days.. and less snow, so there is a lot less water headed our way.

they are not expecting the emergency spillway to be used at all in this round.. which is a good thing:)  i think they said the lake has dropped 20 feet so far,, another 10 feet, and there will be no water against the back of the emergency spillway at all.  and they want to drop it a total of 50 feet. 
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

retired96

  • Eastern Sierra Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2017, 12:51:10 PM »
Per So Cal. weather, this next storm will be the biggest we have had so far,,So. Cal is actually going to get the main part of the storm....Where I live in the foothills of San Bernardino County were looking at 6-8 inches of rain..

A interesting comment on the dam situation, why did the dam keepers allow the water level to get so high in the first place. They knew of rain storms and snow melt so why wasn't water released long before it became a critical issue.

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2017, 05:33:42 PM »
OMG!   now that they let people back into Oroville,, they are flying drones over the repair site!  which makes the helo's hauling rock stop working..   come on people, get a brain, dont fly drones!   i wonder if there is a job opening to sit on the dam and shoot the drones down? 

well as to how they got in this pickle...  we had a ton of snow above the dam.. then a 'pineapple express' came in and not only dumped alot of rain, it melted melted the snow...  that raised the lake at a very rapid rate... at that time they were trying to get the lake full, so they kept athe outflows limited...in part because the Feathe river can only handle so much.   then came the next round of storms,,, ( remeber, out storms up here have pretty much run 11 days rain, 3 days no rain,,, repeat... reprat again, and what the heck, repeat again... which pretty mich means no drop in the runoff going into the lake)    so now that the lake was at a decent level, the main spillway breaks.. so they cut off the flow to check out the damage...  meanwhile, the inflows are running about 175,000 cfs..  and the lake rises...    so now they are faced with so much water coming in, the levels are rising rapidly,,, there is not time to repair the spillway...  they have to open it again, so they run it at 65,000 cfs,,,and it gets much worse,, so they slow it to 55,000.   meanwhile the lake is still rising,,, and they relaize that the emergency spillway will be used..  so they begin pouring quick set concret at the base of it...

meanwhile, there is already flooding going on in other areas of the flood control system.. so part of holding the water back here was to keep it from making the other flooded areas worse.

so over the top of the emergency spillway the water goes... the main spillway is still running at 55,000, and the electrical plant is running at 5,000. (which is its max).   and all is well for a day or two.. then some eagle eye spots the erosion.. rather the water cutting a huge gash into the hillside which is heading back towards the foundatuin of the emergency spillway..  which if it got there, could cause the wall of th espillway to collapse..  that 30 foot wall.

so now it is get the people out of the way, like now... and open up the main spillway more..  by this time there has been some more damage to that spillway..and opening it up did cause some more.  but it did get the lake level down.  and it still is falling.  even with this new set of storms coming in, the outflow should be higher than the inflow..   

so, right or wrong..decisions had to be made.  and no one has had to deal with the amount of rain we have had in decades...   no one expected the spillway to fail... no one expected to use the emergency spillway,,, no one expected the hill to wash out towards the foundation,,,    and no one can make the feather river handle more water.    to me, the limits of the river... or rather all of the building along the river may be a,big part of the problem.

Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

Trev Dog

  • Rock Creek Local
  • ****
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #71 on: February 15, 2017, 06:08:50 PM »
Carol, that was right on information. This was a surprise situation due to the rapid snow melt. They have done as good a job as possible in protecting the area below. Hopefully there will be no more surprise situations this winter. Hats off to the emergency efforts of the crews that pulled this off. For the record is was Arnold's regime that redirected funds in 2005.
Thank's again Carol,  :clap:

Packer

  • Rock Creek Guide
  • *****
  • Posts: 934
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #72 on: February 16, 2017, 08:19:26 AM »
Hey Carol, coming up there in a few days. Can I stop by your place to charge my Drone batteries?.......
Pack it in, Pack it out...or have a Wrangler do it for you.

Little Hardrock

  • Administrator
  • East Side Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2839
    • View Profile
Re: Lots of snow, part 2
« Reply #73 on: February 16, 2017, 08:44:10 AM »
Hey Carol, coming up there in a few days. Can I stop by your place to charge my Drone batteries?.......


sure!   lets charge it up and shoot it out of the sky from my back deck! :)


'PULL'  !!
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....