This is scary. The Orville Dam Spillway has apparently developed hairline cracks in certain sections, yet state officials say there is no need to worry. I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, something about this does not quite add up.
Recent History of the Orville Dam Spillway
After a large crack in the spillway led to the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people in February 2017, a company called Kiewit Corp. was hired to completely rebuild the structure. Phase 1 of this project was completed November 2017, and in 2018 the company will finish phase 2 which will entail rebuilding the top part of the spillway.
The hairline cracks appeared shortly before completion of phase 1 of the project, and were caused by the process of anchoring slabs to the foundation underneath the structure. Yet California state officials insist that the presence of cracks is to be expected and poses no threat. Huh? Try telling that to the people who live within the flood zone!
That said, FERC and other officials agree with this assessment, and have only committed to continuously monitoring the 3,000-foot Orville Dam Spillway for crack activity going forward. In essence, the claim is that hairline cracking is inevitable.
I’m not buying it. The same people that are pushing the ‘don’t worry’ agenda are the same people that were in power when the spillway failed the first time. Are they to be trusted this time? Are these people really competent managing and maintaining the Orville Dam Spillway? Judge for yourself. But I, for one, am not buying the ‘don’t worry’ narrative.