Residents Still Concerned as DWR Meets its Oroville Dam Construction Deadline

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OROVILLE -- The California Department of Water Resources said it's Nov. 1 deadline for work on the Oroville Dam’s main spillway has been met ahead of the rainy season.

With a price tag of over $1 billion, the job took over a thousand people working two million hours to get this point, according to a DWR spokesperson.

"Heavily vetted by the top teams of engineering construction and dam safety experts. So we are confident that if we do need to use it this year, next year or anytime in the future it will stand up to the challenge," said spokeswoman Erin Mellon.

However, convincing some of the nearly 200,000 who were evacuated because of spillway failures could be more difficult.

Some people FOX40 talked to say they still have some serious trust issues. FOX40 asked locals if their confidence in the department will ever change.

"It’s going to be a really hard thing I think for a lot of people to ever believe them again," said resident Vicki Hutchings.

"Well, from the people I talk to I don’t think so. I really don’t, I’ll be honest with you," said Roy Bland.

Oroville resident Christopher Fuller was more willing to forgive, assuming there will be no more issues at the dam and its spillway.

"Well, I certainly hope so," Fuller said. "I'm going to give them my trust. But we’re going to have to be like Reagan: Trust, but verify."

The DWR said they set their deadline so there would plenty of time for the newly poured concrete to cure before December. They say the chance of having to use the spillway before December given current lake levels is "infinitesimal."

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