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California will pay $12M for roads damaged in Oroville Dam crisis

In this handout provided by the California Department of Water Resources (, A worker walks down the damaged roadway near the Oroville Dam emergency spillway on February 17, 2017 in Oroville, California. (Photo by Brian Baer/ California Department of Water Resources via Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s water resources agency has agreed to pay Butte County $12 million to repair roads after a crisis at the country’s tallest dam forced nearly 200,000 people to evacuate in 2017.

The state Department of Water Resources and Butte County announced the settlement Tuesday, more than two years after spillways at the Oroville Dam crumbled and fell away during heavy rains.

The repairs resulted in heavy truck traffic that damaged Butte County roads. Butte County sued in August 2018.

Residents in three Sierra Nevada foothill counties fled their homes in February 2017 after authorities warned that a wall of water could flood nearby towns.

The uncontrolled release of massive amounts of Oroville’s reservoir did not happen and the dam has since been repaired.

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