Some 180,000 evacuated in California to escape flooding from collapsing dam

California Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency order to help authorities deal with the evacuation of more than 180,000 people to escape the potential flooding from Oroville Dam spillways Sunday night. Evacuation centers have opened throughout the area, and most hotels in Chico were full. Speaking later at a press conference, officials said water had stopped flowing over the emergency spillway and that the release of 100,000 cubic feet of water per second from the main spillway had helped drop the level of the artificial lake. But no decision has yet been made on when to allow people back into their homes.

The 770-ft high Oroville Dam, located 240km east of San Francisco, is the tallest in America. The narrowly-averted catastrophe came when the emergency spillway structure, a concrete lip on the north side of the dam, threatened to fall and release a cascade into the Feather River and possibly flood the Orville communities.

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