“You’re putting rocks in a hole. Then you’re putting slurry in to solidify it,” said Chris Orrock, spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. “When water comes down, it will hit that patch and roll off.”
And that’s important — keeping water away from vulnerable spots that eroded when overflowing reservoir waters rushed down this hillside.
A convoy operation of sorts was kicking into gear Tuesday. Quarries were being called into action, with one, Bangor Quarry, operating 24 hours a day to produce boulders as heavy as 6 tons, with trucks in the morning coming in every few minutes to load up.
From there, rocks arrived at a lot just south of Oroville Dam. Rocks then were available for two operations. Yellow dump trucks hauled boulders over the dam and dumped them into eroded pockets of the hillside. Helicopters plucked sacks of rocks and deposited them on the far edge of the hill.