California Democrats spent on high-speed rail and illegal immigrants, but ignored Oroville Dam

The flood danger from the Oroville Dam receded Monday, but California was hit by a wave of criticism for failing to heed warnings about risks to the spillway at a time when the state spent generously on illegal immigrants and high-speed rail. California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, came under fire amid reports that federal and state officials for years rebuffed or ignored calls to fortify the massive 50-year-old dam, which provides water to more than 20 million farmers and residential consumers. “What’s Governor Brown doing?” former state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican, asked in a Monday post on Facebook. “The same thing he’s been doing for decades — obstructing progress.” A radio talk show host, Mr. Donnelly said California “has been so busy defying President Donald Trump in order to protect illegal aliens from deportation that it forgot to do the things government is supposed to do, like maintain infrastructure. Governor Brown is now going hat-in-hand to beg the Trump administration for emergency funds.” The blame game for the giant sinkhole in the dam’s concrete spillway kicked in as state and county officials announced that they had managed to discharge enough water from Lake Oroville to stop sheets of water from cascading over its earthen walls. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a Monday press conference that the goal is to reduce the water level by 50 feet to make room for the next round of storms, expected to hit Thursday and Friday. Nearly 190,000 residents, as well as 500 inmates from the Butte County Jail, were evacuated from the area under an emergency order Sunday, but the sheriff said there was no word about when they would be allowed to return. “This is still a dynamic situation,” said Sheriff Honea. “It’s still a situation we’re trying to assess the damage. We need to have time to make sure that before we allow people back into those areas, it is safe to do so.” Bill Croyle, acting director of the California Department of Water Resources, said engineers increased the amount of water being discharged from the lake to 100,000 cubic feet per second to counter the inflow of 37,000 cubic feet per second.

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