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2020 HINDSIGHT

Near disaster revealed nationwide dam problems

Disaster appeared imminent at the nation's tallest dam on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017.

A crater the size of a football field had sunk into the middle of the spillway at Oroville Dam in Northern California.

Dam operators shut off the water flowing down the spillway about 70 miles north of Sacramento. But the reservoir continued rising from recent storms, soon cresting an "emergency" spillway that was little more than a hillside and that quickly eroded.

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