Berryessa spillway death: All you need to know about Berryessa spillway deaths

Berryessa spillway death

Berryessa spillway death: All you need to know about Berryessa spillway deaths

For many who have seen the Berryessa spillway or any other spill way, it might look dangerous, however, it plays an important role as it helps against flooding.

Berryessa spillway is “giant drain” located in Napa Valley, California. It has one of the largest volume capacities in the world and is approximately 72 feet wide and 245 feet long.

The spillway helps to prevent flooding disasters for the thousands of nearby dwellers when the lake reaches its maximum capacity after heavy rainfall.

The Berryessa spillway holds the gushing water and transports it 2,000 feet into nearby Putah Creek.

As at 2019, the Glory Hole has only spilled 26 times in 60 years.

Berryessa spillway death

While the Berryessa spillway may look dangerous, the authorities have put measures in place to prevent inquisitive members of the public from moving to close to it.

However, there has only been a single death record at the spillway.

While it is difficult to move close to spillway owing to the barriers in place, a woman identified as Emily Schwalak in 1997 died when she fell into it. Some reports at the time speculated that she had consciously pushed herself over the edge and sucked in.

According to the reports, an eyewitness tried to talk Emily out from moving close to the spillway and convince her to swim to shore, but she refused.

She reportedly dropped out of sight after gripping the edge of the hole for about 20 minutes.

However, the reports revealed that her body was found several hours later in Lower Putah Creek.

The only living thing that has been sucked into the Berryessa spillway apart from Emily was when a bird.

However, unlike Emily, the reports revealed that the bird survived the turbulent 75-metre drop and flew away unharmed after being shot out “like a bullet”.

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