The California Department of Water Resources says crews are making rapid progress in clearing out debris which has piled up at the bottom of the damaged Oroville Dam flood control spillway. They say removing the debris will help lower the water level in the channel, so the Hyatt Power Plant can resume operation. The power plant will then give the DWR officials an additional way to drain water from the reservoir.
"Crews have made such tremendous progress removing the debris that we anticipate reoperation of the Hyatt Power Plant could begin by mid-day tomorrow," said DWR Acting Director Bill Croyle.
Croyle said that once the Hyatt Power Plant is activated it will be able to pump out as much as 14,000 cubic feet per second of water, and that ability will allow DWR to better manage reservoir levels at Oroville Dam through the remaining spring runoff season.
It has been estimated that there is a total of 1.7-million cubic yards of debris at the bottom of the spillway. Crews have already removed about 110,000 cubic yards of debris since flows were halted three days ago.