California borrows up to $500 million to fix damage at Oroville Dam

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo water gushes from the Oroville Dam's main spillway in Oroville, Calif. A team of experts is warning of a "very significant risk" if the main spillway of the California dam is not operational again by the next rainy season. The warning is contained in a report obtained Wednesday, March 22 by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)


OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — California is borrowing up to a half-billion dollars to pay for repairs to the badly damaged spillways at the nation’s tallest dam.

The state treasurer’s office said Monday that California water officials obtained a $500 million letter of credit last week for the Oroville Dam repairs.

Heavy water this winter tore giant craters out of both spillways at the half-century-old dam, forcing the evacuation of 188,000 people. The state Department of Water Resources is rushing to repair the main spillway before the next rainy season.

Trump announced $274 million in funding for Oroville Dam repairs last month. State officials have not provided a repair cost estimate so far but said Monday they have asked the federal government to pay 75 percent.



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