STREAM is closed right now. As you know, our school is close to the river. I went down to the river the other day to see how we stood in relation to the river level and our status and it looked like we had a bit of room before we would get wet, but the river is running high.
Oroville has been evacuated. All area schools are closed - in fact, the city is closed. We do not have any idea when the evacuation will be lifted or when schools will resume. Many of our STREAM families are now out of town due to the evacuation order. We really don't know when they can safely return. We're hoping to hear something this morning.
The odd thing about all of this is that up to a half an hour before calling for an evacuation, I was hearing from local officials that things looked good and there were no serious concerns. In fact, I was about to send out a note to families to tell you that things were under control when, at about 4pm or so, I started receiving calls and texts from officials to cancel school and tell everyone I knew to evacuate town within the next thirty minutes or so. We didn't receive much notice. I don't hold that against anyone because I'm just happy to have everyone safe. I'd rather we were laughed at for being Chicken Little than to put anybody at any kind of unnecessary risk.
I live uphill a bit from the downtown, so I've spent the evening and now the morning communicating and coordinating our efforts here. I keep hearing helicopters going over this morning, so they are working feverishly on shoring up the spillway in an effort to stay ahead of this.
Some of the situation has been mitigated. The main spillway has been opened wider last night to drop the lake level (it has dropped by about 3-4 feet). The hope is to drop the lake level by 50 feet before the end of the week. Of course, that means the river will be running strong all week. We are expecting rain to begin again on Wednesday afternoon and possibly continue for seven days or more.
Our 8th graders were supposed to leave early this morning for our annual Washington D.C. trip, but we were evacuated and roads have been closed, so we had to cancel. We have a bunch of disappointed students, but we have already started work on rescheduling the trip.
All in all, we are safe and dry at the moment. I'm hoping that continues as the sun has come up on another day and people are working on solutions.
I'll do my best to keep you posted.