Purposeful activity was underway Monday morning, Feb. 13, 2017, as work to repair the Oroville Dam spillway commenced. The aim is to protect downstream communities threatened by a potential break that could send uncontrolled flows of Lake Oroville water smashing into them. These images show the lake, the dam and the project in progress.
A helicopter approaches a staging area where bags filled with crushed rock await their placement on the damaged emergency spillway of Oroville Dam on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. DALE KASLER / The Sacramento Bee
Bags full of crushed rock sit ready to be dropped into the damaged areas of the Oroville Dam emergency spillway on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The larger rocks in the background are being crushed to fill the bags. DALE KASLER / The Sacramento Bee
The main portion of Oroville Dam presents a calm visage as it holds back Lake Oroville water on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. DALE KASLER / The Sacramento Bee
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Heavy equipment is staged for work on the Oroville Dam, readied near piles of aggregate meant to shore up the dam’s badly compromised spillway. DALE KASLER / The Sacramento Bee
Lake Oroville water pushes against the Oroville Dam emergency spillway early on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Lake water levels continue to drop, easing pressure on the damaged spillway and lessening the threat to downstream communities that had been evacuated out of flooding fears the previous night. RICH PEDRONCELLI / Associated Press
An aerial photo shows the heavy flow of water down the Oroville Dam main spillway on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Authorities were releasing about 100,000 cfs of water. RANDY PENCH / The Sacramento Bee
Workers and heavy equipment prepare bags of crushed rock to be placed on the damaged portions of the Oroville Dam emergency spillway on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. RANDY PENCH / The Sacramento Bee
Scoured of vegetation and layered in mud and other runoff, land that makes up part of Oroville Dam's emergency spillway shows the harsh results of Sunday's cascade of water. Repairs were to be attempted on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. RANDY PENCH / The Sacramento Bee
Lake Oroville water reaches just short of the crest of Oroville Dam's emergency spillway on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The previous day, water overtopped the spillway, leaving the damaged and scarred landscape below. RANDY PENCH / The Sacramento Bee