TOPSHOT-US-DAM-WEATHER

A local Red Cross disaster relief volunteer is joining the effort to help those affected by the possible Oroville spillway failure.

Marilyn Bartley of Ross County will be working in the Red Cross shelters in Northern California where at least 188,000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

The American Red Cross has launched a massive disaster response and continues to work closely with partners.  Red Cross volunteers are on the ground and will continue to be present in the community as long as needed.  

“The Red Cross has shelters open now and more relief supplies and disaster workers are on the way to provide assistance for people in harm’s way,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, disaster operations and logistics for the Red Cross. “This is a potentially catastrophic situation – affecting thousands of people and homes – and our first priority is making sure people have a safe place to stay. We will be in the community to offer comfort and support for as long as needed.”

As many as 2,200 residents were in Red Cross and community shelters as of Monday morning, and the Red Cross is preparing to shelter and feed thousands more in the upcoming days. 

The evacuation orders came Sunday night in Butte and Yuba counties, Yuba City and Marysville, as damage was discovered to the Oroville spillway. 

The Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the United States, and is a critical piece of the state’s water system. The dam currently remains intact, but the emergency spillway is compromised. The governor of California has declared a state of emergency and substantial search and rescue help is being deployed, including the California National Guard and Highway Patrol, along with swift water rescue teams.