This Feb. 20, 2019, photo shows the Oroville Dam spillway in Oroville, Calif. California officials say the flood-control spillway at the nation's tallest dam is expected to be deployed as early as Tuesday, April 2, 2019, for the first time since it was rebuilt after it crumbled during heavy rains two years earlier, forcing nearly 2000,000 people to evacuate. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

1st use of California dam's rebuilt spillway anticipated

April 02, 2019 - 1:03 am

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Water will rush down the main spillway at the nation's tallest dam for the first time since it crumbled in heavy rain two years ago and threatened to flood California communities.

The state Department of Water Resources anticipates releasing water down the spillway at Oroville Dam as early as Tuesday due to stormy weather.

The spring storms follow a very wet winter that coated the mountains with thick snowpack. State experts will coincidentally measure the snowpack Tuesday to determine the outlook for California's water supplies.

In early 2017, the dam's half-century-old spillway broke apart as it carried heavy flows from storms. That drove nearly 200,000 people from their homes over fears of catastrophic flooding.

Rebuilding the massive spillway and other repairs have cost $1.1 billion.

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