With more rain expected, officials are rushing to try to fix the damage and hoping to significantly reduce the dam’s water level – by 15 meters – ahead of the storms.
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Water levels dropped Monday at California's Lake Oroville, stopping water from spilling over a massive dam's potentially hazardous emergency spillway after authorities ordered the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people from towns lying below the lake. California Department of Water Resources officials were preparing to inspect an erosion scar on the spillway at the Oroville Dam, the nation's largest.Authorities ordered the evacuations Sunday for people living below the lake after authorities warned that failure of the emergency spillway could send a 9-meter wall of water into the communities.Lake Oroville also serves as a reservoir and levels rose significantly in recent weeks after a series of storms that have dumped rain and snow across California, particularly in northern parts of the state, where the lake lies about 240 kilometers northeast of San Francisco.The lake is a central piece of California's government-run water delivery network, supplying water for the state's Central Valley agricultural heartland and residents and businesses in Southern California.
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