Lake Oroville reached its maximum capacity on Saturday morning at an elevation of 901 feet above sea level, which state officials say triggered the natural flow of water over the lip of the lake's emergency spillway. The emergency spillway is a wooded hillside that will carry substantial debris into Feather River.
Department of Water Resources and Cal Fire crews prepared the emergency spillway in the days prior to the overflow on Saturday.
The emergency spillway has never been used in the lake's 48-year history. Water is also reportedly being released from Lake Oroville through the dam's primary spillway, though recent storm related damage to that spillway has forced the flow to be reduced to avoid further erosion.
The flow of water out of Lake Oroville is not expected to exceed the flood control capacity of the Feather River. DWR and Office of Emergency Services officials stress that there is no danger to the public at this time, and the dam itself is structurally sound.
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