A photo of the Oroville Dam from 2013 that shows damage to the spillway and trucks on site is getting a lot of attention online -- and not for good reasons.
"I put it out there not realizing how negative of a response, or kind of like an aggressive attack mode, was going to happen," said Lois Cameron, who took the photo that October day. "It was more like information -- not to accuse."
Some people online have called Cameron's photo a fake, but she still remembers the day she took it. Cameron said she's lived in the Loma Rica - Browns Valley area for 14 years, but the miles of great trails in Oroville -- particularly Sycamore Hill -- drew her and her friend Chrisie to the area. Cameron was riding horseback when she shot the Internet infamous picture on Oct. 9, 2013.In recent days, the photo has circulated on Facebook and Twitter as an example of state and local officials ignoring warning signs that the spillway needed repairs before the current emergency situation. MORE: 140,000 Calif. residents ordered to evacuate below endangered dam spillwayWhat is the Oroville Dam and what will happen if the spillway fails?"I honestly felt a little disappointed because, I mean, it's obvious that they're examining where there is an issue with water," she said, "but people have just completely jumped on the negative side of things without even allowing, before, to hear from Department of Water Resources, which I just think is disappointing."Photos from the Department of Water Resources taken in 2014 show the eroded area of the spillway in Cameron's photo had since been repaired:
"I mean, things can be fixed and then they may never be 100 percent again," Cameron said. "That's just the way things happen sometimes."At a Friday press conference, ABC7 station KRCR asked DWR senior engineer Kevin Dossey about the 2013 erosion. "I don't think anybody who is in the inspection team or the repair team would say that more should have been done because there wasn't more evidence that more needed to be done."Unfortunately, having a private photo circulate widely online has become the new normal on social media.Cameron said this experience has made her think twice before posting anything -- her advice: "Just realize once you put it out there, it doesn't belong to you anymore."