This Oct. 18, 2017, photo shows crews placing rebar as the upper chute of the Lake Oroville flood control spillway is constructed. (Ken James/California Department of Water Resources photo)

Oroville Dam Costs Rise to $870 Million

The California Department of Water Resources is submitting the $870 million costs to FEMA, which reimburses up to 75 percent of the requested costs for a federal emergency.

The cost of California's Oroville Dam crisis has climbed to $870 million, the state's Department of Water Resources announced Jan. 26.

The department's updated estimate says emergency recovery work, which includes repair of the dam's damaged flood control spillways, will cost $500 million, and recovery work that includes debris and sediment removal, power line replacement, and technical consultants, will cost $210 million more. The cost for emergency response, which ended in May 2017, is $160 million, according to the department.

DWR is submitting the $870 million costs to FEMA, which reimburses up to 75 percent of the requested costs for a federal emergency.

Heavy rains caused the dam's emergency spillways to erode in February 2017. The erosion caused an emergency evacuation of 188,000 downstream residents and necessitated extensive repairs. The Oct. 18, 2017, photo featured in this story shows crews placing rebar as the upper chute of the Lake Oroville flood control spillway is constructed. (Ken James/California Department of Water Resources photo).

The Sacramento Bee's Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow reported Jan 26 that the remaining portion of costs not covered by FEMA will be covered by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and other water agencies that store water behind the dam. Their report said FEMA to this point has agreed to pay 75 percent of the first $115.9 million in costs submitted by California for the emergency recovery and response.

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