California

The Latest: Looters burglarize empty homes and businesses

  • A helicopter flies over Oroville Dam's main spillway to drop a bag of rocks that will be placed on a hole on the lip of the emergency spillway Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Oroville, Calif. The barrier, at the nation's tallest dam, is being repaired a day after authorities ordered mass evacuations for everyone living below the lake out of concerns the spillway could fail and send a 30-foot wall of water roaring downstream. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

    A helicopter flies over Oroville Dam's main spillway to drop a bag of rocks that will be placed on a hole on the lip of the emergency spillway Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Oroville, Calif. The barrier, at the nation's tallest dam, is being repaired a day after authorities ordered mass evacuations for everyone living below the lake out of concerns the spillway could fail and send a 30-foot wall of water roaring downstream. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)  (The Associated Press)

  • A helicopter lowers a bag of rocks to be dropped on a hole on the lip of the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Oroville, Calif. The barrier, at the nation's tallest dam, is being repaired a day after authorities ordered mass evacuations for everyone living below the lake out of concerns the spillway could fail. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

    A helicopter lowers a bag of rocks to be dropped on a hole on the lip of the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Oroville, Calif. The barrier, at the nation's tallest dam, is being repaired a day after authorities ordered mass evacuations for everyone living below the lake out of concerns the spillway could fail. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)  (The Associated Press)

  • This June 23, 2005, aerial photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources shows Oroville Dam, Lake Oroville and the Feather River in the foothills of Sierra Nevada near Oroville, Calif. The concrete spillway that was undermined and developed huge holes in the last few days is at lower left. Release of water from the dam, the damaged spillway and the use of an earthen emergency spillway has caused a temporary evacuation on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, of thousands of people downstream. (Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources via AP)

    This June 23, 2005, aerial photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources shows Oroville Dam, Lake Oroville and the Feather River in the foothills of Sierra Nevada near Oroville, Calif. The concrete spillway that was undermined and developed huge holes in the last few days is at lower left. Release of water from the dam, the damaged spillway and the use of an earthen emergency spillway has caused a temporary evacuation on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, of thousands of people downstream. (Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on problems with an emergency spillway at the nation's tallest dam (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

Police say at least a handful of homes and businesses have been burglarized following an evacuation order Sunday over fears that a damaged spillway at Lake Oroville could fail.

Nearly 200,000 people who evacuated Sunday have to stay away indefinitely while officials race to repair the spillway before more rains arrive Thursday.

The Oroville Mercury Register reports (http://bit.ly/2kGTXzt ) that Lt. Gil Zarate says officers are beefing up patrols to dissuade crime amid empty homes and businesses. Police have made one arrest for burglary at a liquor store.

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8:15 a.m.

The Department of Water Resources will hold a news conference at noon to discuss progress made on repairing the damaged spillway.

Nearly 200,000 people, who evacuated Sunday over fears that a damaged spillway at Lake Oroville could fail and unleash a wall of water, have to stay away indefinitely while officials race to repair it before more rains arrive Thursday.

Crews working around the clock atop the crippled dam have made progress repairing the spillway.

Workers are hoisting giant white bags filled with rocks, and at least two helicopters will fly them to where they will be released in the spillway's erosion. Dump trucks full of boulders also are dumping their cargo on the damaged spillway.

State Department of Water Resources spokesman Chris Orrock says lake levels are dropping at a rate of 8 feet per day.

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7:40 a.m.

Crews working around the clock atop the crippled Oroville Dam have made progress repairing the damaged spillway.

Workers are hoisting giant white bags filled with rocks, and at least two helicopters will fly them and then release them in the spillway's erosion. Dump trucks full of boulders also are dumping their cargo on the damaged spillway.

State Department of Water Resources spokesman Chris Orrock says lake levels are also dropping at a rate of 8 feet per day.

The goal is to see the level at 860 feet by Thursday when inflows should begin from the expected storms. Orrock says the lake is currently at 884 feet.

The barrier at the nation's tallest dam is being repaired after authorities ordered the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people for everyone living below the lake amid concerns the spillway could fail and send water roaring downstream.

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3:30 a.m.

A huge Northern California reservoir, held in place by a massive dam, has always been central to the life of the towns around it.

Now the lake that has brought them holiday fireworks and salmon festivals could bring disaster.

Nearly 200,000 people, who evacuated Sunday over fears that a damaged spillway at Lake Oroville could fail and unleash a wall of water, have to stay away indefinitely while officials race to repair it before more rains arrive Thursday.

Evacuees felt strange on Monday to see their beloved lake associated with urgent voices on the national news.