Authorities temporarily shut down the spillway because of massive erosion but then reopened it to prevent water from overtopping the dam, and for the first time in history had to use the emergency spillway to relieve rising water pressure on the dam. Some 200,000 residents downstream were evacuated as a precaution but now have returned home (see photos below).
Lake Oroville dam spillway damaged by extreme runoff
Lake Oroville Dam emergency spillway in use, first time in history
Capitola Beach littered with trees and debris washed downstream by creeks and rivers
Interstate 80, Sierra Nevada
Highway 35 (Skyline) in Santa Cruz Mountains
Lake Oroville before (above) and after (below) winter storms of 2016-2017