By J.G. Noll
All of California’s National Guardsmen are on standby today to deal with potential flooding downstream of the Oroville Dam in the central part of the state. In a press conference on Sunday night, Adjutant General David Baldwin confirmed that all 23,000 Guardsmen have been directed to be “ready to go if needed.”
Such an action is a rare occurrence; the last time the state called up all of their Guardsmen was in 1992 during the Los Angeles riots, 25 years ago.
“The California National Guard would deploy eight helicopters to assist with spillway reconstruction; military police would also be deployed to Yuba County,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
100,000 residents Yuba County were instructed on Sunday to lead their homes as the spillway at Lake Oroville’s reservoir threatens to flood towns and homes downstream. Without repairing damage to an emergency spillway and the real possibility that a rain-saturated barrier hillside could be washed away by floodwaters, a 30-foot wall of water with the power of 100,000 cubic feet per second, could be unleashed.
Workers are expected on Monday to begin repairing erosion at the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville that threatened to flood downstream towns and forced more than 100,000 people from their homes Sunday. Officials will also work to lower the lake by 50 feet to absorb the 3-8 inches for rain forecast to fall in the area early in the week.
Oroville lies about 45 miles north of Beale Air Force Base. Currently, they are housing about 250 evacuees fleeing flood destruction in the Harris Fitness Center. As flood water continues to rise and the forecast turns rainy, it is possible that they will shelter and feed up to 400 people.
J.G. Noll is the Editor of Military One Click and a veteran’s spouse. She can be reached at [email protected]