By Associated Press - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is planning to visit the Lake Oroville dam as crews work to shore up damaged spillways that forced emergency evacuations in three counties.

The recently elected California Democrat will survey the damage and repair work by air on Thursday. She’ll also get a briefing from state officials, the Butte County sheriff’s office and the National Guard.

The water level behind the dam began dropping Wednesday morning after it rose about 5 feet when a series of storms dumped rain in the area. The lake is still nearly 50 feet below capacity.

Crews are scrambling to fortify an emergency spillway that was badly eroded when the lake reached capacity and overflowed, forcing the evacuation of 180,000 people. The dam’s main spillway also is damaged.

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