By JONATHAN J. COOPER
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California water officials say they may have to use the partially rebuilt spillway at Oroville Dam for the first time since they began repairs to the badly damaged structure last summer.
Department of Water Resources officials said Tuesday that anticipated storms could send trigger releases this week or next. They stepped up releases through other outlets in hopes of avoiding the need to use the spillway.
Damage on the main spillway was the catalyst for a near catastrophe in February 2017 when authorities ordered nearly 200,000 people to evacuate amid fears of massive flooding.
Construction work to fix the damage has paused for the winter though crews have been working to fortify the adjacent emergency spillway.
State officials say inspectors will closely monitor the chute if water is released.