Oroville Dam

Oroville Dam, 770 ft (235 m) high and 7,600 ft (2,317 m) long, on the Feather River, N Calif., near the city of Oroville. The highest dam in the United States and the largest unit of the Feather River project, the dam was built (1957–68) to provide electric power, drinking water, and irrigation for central and S California. Lake Oroville, created by the dam, is California's second largest reservoir. In Feb., 2017, erosion of the dam's emergency spillway, the use of which occurred due to an overcapacity reservoir, led to fears of the spillway's failure and collapse, and resulted in the temporary evacuation of nearly 200,000 people from Oroville and other communities downstream.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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