Year in review: The top stories of 2016 in Chico







Chico >> Friday we began our countdown of the top 10 local stories of 2016, and today we run through numbers five through one.

The stories were picked and ranked on a vote by the newsroom of the Enterprise-Record from a list of stories that ran during the year.

5. Water

Lake Oroville hit its highest point in three years during 2016, but promptly began dropping quickly as the State Water Project made good on earlier promises to deliver water to its contractors.

The lake got to within nine feet of the level considered full in early May, and water was even released over the spillway before the month was out to make room for water still coming into the lake.

But then the inflow slowed and the outflow stayed strong as water deliveries were made. The lake was 50 feet down by July 7, and 100 feet down by Aug. 8.

That was higher than in last few summers and falls, when the water level dropped below the bottom of virtually all the boat ramps, stifling recreation, but the brown banks around the lake grew longer and longer as 2016 ran on.

The drop bottomed out at about 175 from full on Dec. 8, and the lake has been rising since then.

The year also saw disagreement over whether the drought was over. The northern part of the state got above average rain but the south did not.

Still, when the state lifted its mandatory water conservation targets in favor of letting water agencies set their own, all but a handful made their goal no conservation at all.

4. Election

While national races…

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