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California Water Chief: Oroville Emergency Spillway Worked

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The head of California’s water agency says an emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam worked despite extreme erosion that led authorities to order nearly 200,000 people to flee. Department of Water Resources Acting Director Bill Croyle briefed a state legislative committee Tuesday on the state’s response to severe damage at the nation’s tallest dam. Croyle’s assertion that the spillway worked surprised Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher, who represents Oroville. Gallagher says the unexpected erosion reveals a design flaw. Water flowed over the emergency spillway for the first time in February after damage to the main chute caused officials to limit releases. Lawmakers also questioned Croyle about details of the $275 million contract to shore up the emergency spillway and the damaged main spillway in time for the next rainy season.