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AEG OR Chapter January 16, 2019 Meeting (Joint AEG/ASCE Meeting)
Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, (2nd floor)
Portland, OR
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AEG OR Chapter January 16, 2019 Meeting (Joint AEG/ASCE Meeting)
Oroville Spillways Incident and Overview of Re-construction

PURCHASE OF TICKETS USING BROWN PAPER TICKETS: Ticket sales stop after Sunday January 13th.

(At the door payments in Cash or Checks only.)

6:00  Social Hour
6:45  Dinner (buffet style)
7:30  Presentation


Speaker:  Mr. Doug Boyer, PE, CEG


Oroville Dam, located on the Feather River in northern California, is the tallest dam in the United States.  At 770 feet high, this earthfill dam was constructed in the mid 1960s to provide water supply, irrigation, fish habitat and other environmental benefits, recreation, and hydropower for the people of California.  The project includes a service spillway consisting of an eight-bay headworks gate structure, a 178-foot-wide concrete chute, and an energy dissipater structure, and an auxiliary spillway (formerly called emergency spillway) consisting of a 1,730foot-long crest structure and an unlined earthen spillway channel.

In February 2017 significant rainfall in the 3,600square-mile drainage basin caused the reservoir to rise rapidly following two years of drought conditions.  The reservoir rose sufficiently to force the primary service spillway into operation.  Limited flows through the service spillway caused significant damage and erosion to the spillway chute and walls.  A decision was made to further limit flows through the damaged spillway to prevent additional damage.  The reservoir continued to rise from ongoing runoff forcing the emergency spillway into service for the first time in its history.  Minor flows over the emergency spillway also resulted in significant erosion and damage to the unlined spillway channel causing concern for undermining and failure of the spillway monolith section.   As a precaution, on February 12, 2017, emergency management officials ordered the evacuation of nearly 188,000 residents downstream of the dam.

Since May 2017 the spillways have been undergoing reconstruction.

This presentation will summarize the events and decisions from the February 2017 event and provide a summary and highlights of the $1.1 billion response and recovery efforts, including alternatives analysis and two-year reconstruction period.


Doug is a civil engineer and engineering geologist with 33 years of experience in dam engineering and dam safety.  He currently serves as the Chief, Risk-Informed Decision Making Branch for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  Doug has previously held various positions with both the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Denver.  Doug has a B.S. in Geological Sciences from Penn State and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer, Professional Geologist, and Certified Engineering Geologist.  Doug is a former section chair of the AEG Rocky Mountain Section and formerly served as AEGs Publications Director.  Doug and his team were the recipients of the 2007 AEG Holdredge Award for the publication, Engineering Geology in Colorado.  Doug was present at the Oroville site during the emergency operations and response and has led FERCs Oroville project team during the spillway recovery and reconstruction efforts.


Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, (2nd floor) (View)
112 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204
United States



Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Oregon AEG
On BPT Since: Nov 06, 2016
Chris Humphrey

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