Early Morning Release
A view of Shasta Dam's spillways on February 12, 2017 before they opened a couple more of the spillway valves. The huge amount of rain so far this year has Shasta Lake almost to the top and more rain is coming later this week. They are in a hurry to make room for more water.
At nearby (100 miles) Oroville Dam they didn't get the water out fast enough and their spillway developed a hole that was quickly expanding so they tried to reduce the outflow. This resulting in the lake filling completely and forcing them to use the never before used emergency spillway which in turn developed issues which led them to believe a failure of the spillway was imminent on Sunday afternoon. This prompted evacuations of close to 200,000 people from Oroville and other towns down river.
Seems to be a lot of finger pointing at the moment but I would expect some heads will roll when the dust clears.