The Oroville Dam Crisis Is Part of a Greater Problem

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FEATURING JULIET CHRISTIAN-SMITH – An evacuation order for nearly 200,000 Californians in the Sacramento Valley over the danger of a dam breaking has been lifted. But with more rain coming to the drought-stricken state, many residents are opting to remain clear of the Oroville Dam. The 50-year old, 770 foot high dam is the US’s tallest. About 12 years ago local officials and environmentalists warned that the structure would need reinforcements but state and federal authorities ignored the warnings.

Now, after a severe years-long drought, California has been inundated by generous amounts of rain and the aging dam has suffered damage from a perfect storm of coinciding factors. The Union of Concerned Scientists warns that the nation’s aging infrastructure may not be able to withstand the weather extremes that come with global warming. Sadly the new President, who has openly claimed that climate change is a hoax, is most interested in building a wall along the Mexico border than repairing our roads, bridges, and dams.

Find out more at www.ucsusa.org

Juliet Christian-Smith, Senior Climate Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists