Lake Oroville Economy Suffers As Reconstruction On Spillway Continues

As the weather starts to heat up, reconstruction of the primary and emergency spillways at Oroville Dam have some business owners worried about the impact to the local economy.

Summer recreation is usually a boom to businesses around Lake Oroville, but some business owners say they are getting fewer customers due to spillway work at Oroville Dam. 

Jamie Sorenson with North Valley Tackle and Pro Shop tells KCRA 3 that the project has been a mixed bag for small businesses in the area.

"It's affected a lot of business positively," says Sorenson. "But for me, not so much."

Despite the concerns, Oroville State Park Superintendent Aaron Wright says the area was packed with visitors during the Fourth of July holiday.

"It was busy, we were packed with a lot of people," says Wright. "This has not been our worst year by any means. The drought was worse." 

In addition to reconstruction of the spillways, the Department of Water Resources is spending nearly $50 million toward other improvement projects around Lake Oroville, including enhanced hiking trails and additional parking.

Oroville Dam Spillway

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