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Oroville dam: authorities lift evacuation order for almost 200000

Engineers diverted this water along an unpaved emergency spillway that hadn't been used in nearly 50 years - but this didn't work.

It's a race against time and weather, but crews watching the forecast say they're not too concerned.

An excavator sits Sunday on a newly constructed road adjacent to the Diversion Pool that will be used to get heavy equipment in to scoop out the debris that can be seen to have collected at the base of the broken main spillway for Oroville Dam.

Croyle says a storm Wednesday appears to be small and that the reservoir's water levels should keep shrinking. "We're forecasting that the inflows won't exceed outflows during the storm", Orrock said.

Another pool of FEMA money, through the National Dam Safety Program, is available, but that can not be used for repairs.

The sheriff of Butte County, Kory Honea, reminded residents that while the risk level was reduced to let people back into the area, "this is still an emergency situation".

The acting head of the state's Department of Water Resources said he did not know whether anything had gone wrong and was unaware of a 2005 report that recommended fortifying the earthen emergency spillway with concrete for just such an event.

Flew over the #OrovilleDam on my way to Sacramento to help cover the floods and dam situation.

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"So, we have officers at the off-ramps to try to expedite, and not cause a traffic jam, for people returning to their homes", police Lt. Chris Nicodemus said.

The evacuation was put in place Sunday amid concerns the dam might fail due to spillway damage and send a wall of water downstream. That's where they tied the knot.

"We encourage residents in the affected to area to follow the direction of local authorities, and if told to stay out of evacuated areas, please do so", Tribble said.

About 300 people at the center joined in the celebration.

Early Sunday morning, Lake Oroville crested at 902.59 feet above sea level - a record high, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

On Tuesday, evacuation orders were lifted for residents who live below the country's tallest dam. Right now the outflow is at 100,000 cubic feet per second. "This federal aid will get money and resources where it's needed most". But the storm was looking colder than initially projected, meaning less rain and less runoff than last week's storms. However, many are keeping their bags packed as they could be evacuated again when the next round of rain arrives.

The American Red Cross has launched a massive disaster response in northern California, where almost 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate due to the potentially catastrophic collapse of the Oroville Dam.

The three storms are expected to stretch into next week, and officials are testing the quick repairs made to damaged spillways that raised initial flood fears.

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