Oroville Dam Failure A Wake-Up Call For Dam Safety, Maintenance

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Two men watch as water gushes from the Oroville Dam's main spillway Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Oroville, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Recently, parts of two spillways at California’s massive Oroville Dam — the nation’s tallest — crumbled in heavy rains, sparking an evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. The dam, completed in 1968, holds back a reservoir of more than a trillion gallons of water, and the spillway failure raises serious questions about dam infrastructure and regulation in California and around the country.

Here & Now‘s Eric Westervelt (@Ericnpr) talks with Martin McCann, director and founder of Stanford University’s National Performance of Dams Program, about Oroville and the lessons its failure might teach.

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