This past week, heavy winter rain caused a 250-foot-long section of northern California’s Oroville Dam’s principal spillway to collapse. In response, state officials began releasing water from an adjacent emergency spillway, leading to the unexpected and rapid erosion of the ground below and the evacuation of 180,000 residents from their homes.
The crisis, which exposed glaring weaknesses with the dam complex, also carries an important lesson for the nation: Increasingly, extreme weather driven by climate change is placing substantial stress on America’s aging infrastructure.
The above excerpt was originally published in Fortune.
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