Repairs to Oroville Dam could cost up to $200 million

Water flows through break in the wall of the Oroville Dam spillway, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Oroville, Calif. The torrent chewed up trees and soil alongside the concrete spillway before rejoining the main channel below. Engineers don't know what caused what state Department of Water Resources spokesman Eric See called a "massive" cave-in that is expected to keep growing until it reaches bedrock. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

OROVILLE (KRON) — Repairs to the damaged concrete spillway at Oroville Dam will cost between $100 million and $200 million, according to the head of California’s water agency.

Department of Water Resources Acting Director Bill Croyle said that teams are already working on plans for repairing the dam’s main spillway.

Croyle says the preliminary cost estimate is based on limited information. He says long-term repairs will likely begin after the spring runoff season, when crews can close the floodgates for an extended period without the lake refilling with melting snow.

In the meantime, crews are working aggressively to fortify an adjacent emergency spillway, where erosion threatened to undermine a concrete wall that holds water in the reservoir.

Gov. Jerry Brown says the federal government has approved aid to support the rebuilding of the shore of the damaged dam.

The mandatory evacuation was lifted Tuesday allowing residents to return home. However, many are keeping their bags packed as they could be evacuated again when the next round of rain arrives.

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