Thousands forced from homes over fears of California dam failure

ABC News' Kayna Whitworth reports from Oroville, California.
2:18 | 02/13/17

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Transcript for Thousands forced from homes over fears of California dam failure
I'm whitworth with ABC news nine and Orville California it is an utter chaos here in northern California and a machete widener in just a second. First of all this is or bill late it is over capacity for the first time in several years after rain and snow melt. Has been filling up the lakes and now as we walk this way. Officials had to do is they had to release water using a spillway. And when you see all going back there there's that water is sending. Air. When they use this bill wit a water was so powerful it created a whole some 300 feet wide. So then. Officials had to use an emergency spillway this stamp is fifty years old and they have never once had to use its emergency spillway. Which is basically a hillside some when they did that yet another hole was created. With all of this water. Threatening all of the towns below if that spillway were to fail it would be absolutely devastating for every community downstream. Because of that authorities ordered evacuations we're talking about more than 200000. People. Evacuated from this area they were wind up in cars last night bumper to bumper. Gas stations running out of gas. As I mentioned it has been an absolute utter chaos. You can't really see it to this side but you immediately hear it there's actually bulldozers that are filling up giant bags with rocks. So officials today. Plan on using helicopters to pick up those bags and her going to try to fill the holes. In this bill Landis emergency spillway. The good news it's. At the lake levels have dropped a little bit this morning and there's water no longer going over that emergency spillway. But officials are saying at this point this threat still remains as evacuations are still in order. And so it was a very scary situation for everybody in this community. Will be staying on his story three B with ABC news we drove all night slept in the car. We're not going anywhere we'll keep you updated so stay with us again and can it weren't for ABC news in Oregon California.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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