Three Hospitals Affected by Oroville Spillway Potential Breach One area hospital evacuated, two others shelter in place
As crews work to repair the eroded emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam, more than 100,000 people have been evacuated from nearby low-lying areas. Orchard Hospital in Gridley has evacuated, while Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville and Oroville Hospital are following shelter-in-place precautions. In addition, a number of skilled-nursing, post-acute care and other health facilities in the affected region have been impacted, including some that have fully evacuated.
On Sunday, Gov. Brown issued a state of emergency order for the area, followed by a similar proclamation from Butte County yesterday. Though the emergency evacuation order was lifted this afternoon, it is unclear when patients will return to impacted facilities. It is also important to note that the evacuation order could be reinstated, should conditions change.
To alleviate strain on the emergency spillway and reduce further erosion, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has increased water flow down the main spillway’s chute. Currently, reservoir levels are at 892.81 feet and dropping at three to four inches per hour. DWR’s target depth for the reservoir is 851 feet. A multitude of other state, federal and private sector resources — including the California Department of Public Health, the California Office of Emergency Services, the Emergency Medical Services Authority and the California National Guard — have been deployed to provide support and assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Regional Response Coordination Center in Oakland has moved to 24-hour operations to prepare for potential spillway failure. For more information on this dynamic situation, visit www.caloes.ca.gov.