Governor Brown Issues Emergency Order to Help Response to Situation at Oroville Dam


SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an emergency order tonight to bolster the state’s response to the situation at the Oroville Dam’s auxiliary spillway and support subsequent local evacuations.

“I’ve been in close contact with emergency personnel managing the situation in Oroville throughout the weekend and it’s clear the circumstances are complex and rapidly changing,” said Governor Brown. “I want to thank local and state law enforcement for leading evacuation efforts and doing their part to keep residents safe. The state is directing all necessary personnel and resources to deal with this very serious situation.”

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and is coordinating with personnel at the Incident Command Post in Oroville, California and with other local, state and federal emergency response officials to address all emergency management, evacuation and mutual aid needs.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will host a media availability from the State Operations Center at approximately 11:00 p.m. tonight with officials from the California Highway Patrol, California National Guard, California Department of Water Resources and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). Follow live at:

An attested copy of the emergency proclamation can be found here and the full text is below:


WHEREAS during January and February of 2017, three atmospheric river storm systems struck California, bringing massive amounts of rainfall; and

WHEREAS this rainfall inundated lakes, rivers, and streams throughout the state, causing them to reach capacity, resulting in widespread flooding; and

WHEREAS Lake Oroville in Butte County reached capacity, causing officials to utilize the spillway to reduce the lake’s water levels; and

WHEREAS on February 7, 2017, the spillway at Lake Oroville Dam began to erode, causing officials to begin utilizing the auxiliary emergency spillway on February 11; and

WHEREAS officials have determined that the auxiliary emergency spillway at Lake Oroville Dam is in danger of failing, which if it fails, may cause widespread and severe flooding; and

WHEREAS the potential for flooding has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents; and

WHEREAS the circumstances of this potential flooding by reason of its magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist in Butte, Sutter, and Yuba Counties due to this potential flooding; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the California Government Code, I find that strict compliance with various statutes and regulations specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of this potential flooding.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California Government Code,

HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in the Counties of Butte, Sutter, and Yuba.


1. All citizens should heed the advice of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety.

2. All agencies of the state government utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan.

3. As necessary to assist local governments and for the protection of public health and the environment, state agencies shall enter into contracts to arrange for the procurement of materials, goods, and services necessary to quickly remove dangerous debris, repair damaged resources, and restore and protect the impacted watershed. Applicable provisions of the Government Code and the Public Contract Code, including but not limited to travel, advertising, and competitive bidding requirements, are suspended to the extent necessary to address the effects of this flooding.

4. The California National Guard shall mobilize under California Military and Veterans Code section 146 to support disaster response and relief efforts and coordinate with all relevant state agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and all relevant state and local emergency responders and law enforcement within the impacted areas. Pursuant to section 147 of the California Military and Veterans Code, any and all provisions of Division 2 of the Military and Veterans Code or other laws of the State which require advertisement for bids for purchases of supplies or employment of services are suspended to the extent necessary to address the effects of this flooding.

5. In order to expedite response and recovery, Division 13 (commencing with section 21000) of the Public Resources Code and regulations adopted pursuant to that Division are hereby suspended.

6. The Office of Emergency Services shall provide assistance to Butte, Sutter and Yuba Counties, as appropriate, under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act, California Government Code section 8680 et seq. and California Code of Regulations, title 19, section 2900 et seq.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 12th day of February 2017.

Governor of California


Secretary of State

For real-time updates on this situation, follow the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) on Twitter at @Cal_OES and the California Department of Water Resources on Twitter at @CA_DWR.