In a time of worry and concern about, well, everything, I found a story that made me smile. So I'm sharing it with you.
In early February you may remember the growing concern about the Oroville Dam in northern California. The nation's highest, it was rapidly filling with water creating a hazardous situation that usually would be resolved by releasing surplus over the spillway. However, the hard rains overtaxed the spillway that had a partial collapse meaning the emergency alternative would have to be used. It was a scary situation for towns around Oroville that were already flooded in part and for even Sacramento that would receive an unusual volume of water from the Feather River feeding into the Sacramento River that itself was fighting against overtopping the levee system.
My husband and I drove up to Orovile on a Saturday afternoon to look. That didn't work out well since police had the road blocked, our first indication that this was more dangerous than we had heard in news reports, so we turned away from the dam itself. As we started back home, we passed the emergency responders' headquarters that must have had over 100 vehicles from every agency and repair group possible. Then we knew it was truly serious. It was the next day that the order came to evacuate over 200,000 people as the secondary emergency spillway also began to collapse. It was truly terrifying to know that many people were at risk.
Even from our cursory drive-by, it was very clear how extensive was the all-out dedication of every single person responding. From law enforcement to repair crews, people were working ceaslessly to prevent disaster. Steam shovels and trucks with gravel and rock toiled directly under the eroding emergency spillway lip trying to repair the weakened section, risking their lives on the edge of the unknown.
Here is a story about some of the men and women who labored to do those repairs. It's very interesting to understand the actual work they had to do to make sure the rest of us were kept out of harm's way. People with this kind of nerve and this kind of dedication make clear that we are surrounded daily by dedicated human beings who help us through dark times. We thought you might like to read it - it's very uplifting to see this side of the story and know who kept us safe.
As long as good and courageous people exist, we all can take heart and keep moving forward.