Trump Administration approves assistance for Oroville Dam crisis, January storms

But the skies didn't stop, and on Monday, the Department of Defense announced that they are prepared to assist in evacuation and rescue operations in Northern California as a failing dam struggles to restrain the huge amount of water threatening its surrounding community.

Evacuation orders for about 188,000 people remained in effect as the risk to those living in the Feather River valley below the Lake Oroville Dam, 65 miles north of Sacramento, was being reviewed, officials said.

Despite more than a decade of warnings about Oroville, there is no public record of the country's tallest dam receiving any of the more than $34 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sent to California for infrastructure projects.

A storm forecast for later this week had threatened to increase the risk of the spillway's failing, but Honea said that with less rain being predicted, the threat wasn't as great as had been thought.

Bill Croyle, the acting director of the California Department of Water Resources, said the lake behind the Oroville Dam continues to drain rapidly, and has dropped almost 20 feet since overflowing into an emergency spillway Sunday when it reached full capacity. Engineers don't know what caused the cave-in, but a Department of Water Resources spokesman told the Associated Press it appears the dam's main spillway has stopped crumbling even though it's being used for water releases.

Evacuation orders have been lifted in the area around the Oroville Dam after officials say the spillway has remained stable for four days.

The crisis prompted the evacuation and forced operators to resume using the damaged main spillway to lower the lake below the emergency spillway level.

"We allowed people to come back and resume their day-to-day activities", Honea said, "But it's improtant for people to be prepared, to think about and plan where they would need to go and how they are going to get there" in the event of another evacuation.

The moisture packed train of storms affecting California this winter has been well received by many, but this week, the timing is not the ideal for additional rain and snow given the precarious water excess situation in some areas of the state, as is the case of the Oroville Reservoir.

Their homes were in danger of being engulfed by water after the 770ft (230m) high spillways of the Oroville Dam were found to be damaged.

"They can't do the whole slope so the problem that developed before is still a possibility", Mount said.

It's around-the-clock work for crews in Oroville working to secure the emergency spillway ahead of a series of storms.

Officials say repairing the dam could cost as much as $200 million.

Downstream of the dam, flooding has been reported in Marysville and several roads and highways have been closed by the California Department of Transportation, including at least one that is impassable due to flooding. Officials hope to continue using a damaged main spillway to drain the lake another 37 feet in preparation for coming rain.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday approved federal funding through the the Federal Emergency Management Agency and declared an emergency in the state.

The governor defended the state's flood infrastructure Monday and said he welcomed "more scrutiny" as efforts continue.

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