After Frantic Night, Officials say Lake Oroville May Not Top Emergency Spillway

With a break in the weather and increased outflow from Oroville Dam’s heavily damaged spillway, state officials said Friday morning they no longer believe the swollen reservoir will breach the dam’s emergency spillway. After a grim assessment late Thursday, officials announced Friday morning they think they can avoid using the dam’s emergency spillway, which they’ve … Read more

Aging and Underfunded: America's Dam Safety Problem, in 4 Charts

There are more than 87,000 dams in America and, like most infrastructure, they go largely unnoticed — until something goes wrong. That was the case in and around South Carolina’s capital this week, when at least 20 dams collapsed during catastrophic floods. The number of dam breaches was rare. But to experts who monitor dam … Read more

Setting Rivers Free: As Dams Are Torn Down, Nature is Quickly Recovering

BENTON FALLS, MAINE — “Look underneath you,” commands Nate Gray, a burly biologist for the state of Maine. He reaches down to the grate floor of a steel cage perched on a dam straddling the Sebasticook River, and pulls back a board revealing the roiling river 30 feet below. “All you see is fish.” Below, undulating in … Read more