Sacramento Valley ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, reports that Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers are ready to assist in the evacuation and sheltering of upward of 200,000 people living below the damaged Oroville Dam in rural California. The dam, on the Feather River east of Oroville, is the tallest dam in the US. It impounds Lake Oroville, the second-largest man-made lake in California.
Following a period of heavy rain, a section of the earthfill-embankment dam’s spillway eroded, and residents below the dam were considered in harm’s way should the dam fail.
Butte County ARES EC Dale Anderson, KK6EVX, was called out by the emergency operations center (EOC) on the evening of February 12. Yuba/Sutter ARES EC Steve Sweetman, K6TAZ, opened and managed a net on February 12 to provide information and gather reports of road closures or problems during the evacuation.
Kruckewitt said “many shelters” have been set up, including one in the Stanislaus County town of Patterson — downstream from Sacramento, and one at the Cal Expo grounds in Sacramento County. No radio amateurs have been called upon to assist at any shelters. Radio amateurs in Yolo, Placer, Amador, and Sacramento County are on standby and willing to help, if requested, Kruckewitt said. — Thanks to Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT