Gov. Jerry Brown, left, gets a briefing from William A. Croyle, acting director of the Department of Water Resources, at the Oroville Dam on Wednesday February 22, 2017. Governor’s Office
Gov. Jerry Brown, left, gets a briefing from William A. Croyle, acting director of the Department of Water Resources, at the Oroville Dam on Wednesday February 22, 2017. Governor’s Office

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Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown makes surprise visit to Oroville Dam

By Christopher Cadelago

ccadelago@sacbee.com

February 22, 2017 06:42 PM

Nine days ago, with the Oroville Dam under stress and battered by more harsh weather, Gov. Jerry Brown said he had no immediate plans to visit the site, suggesting “I don’t think they need politicians fluttering around.”

“This is not law. It’s not politics. It’s not what I am used to,” Brown said.

On Wednesday afternoon, however, as management of the situation stabilized amid a break in the rain, Brown made a surprise visit to the incident command post at Oroville.

Brown was briefed, thanked officials, including Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, and took the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the work around the dam, spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman said.

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By air, the Democratic governor surveyed the regional flood control system, flying over Maxwell, and down the Sacramento River. Hoffman said Brown did not advise the unexpected trip because it was not intended as a media event.

The Governor’s Office documented the visit on its Twitter account.

Sen. Kamala Harris is set to take an aerial tour of Oroville on Thursday. The trip is closed to media, but Harris plans to post photos.

State water resources officials and the Butte County sheriff were feeling optimistic Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, as inflows into Lake Oroville were dropping. They said an emergency spillway on Oroville Dam was unlikely to be redeployed and an evacuation warning for residents might soon be lifted after the latest storms. Peter HechtThe Sacramento Bee

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago