Extended family forced to evacuate over Oroville Dam staying in Fairfield hotel

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An extended family of 40 forced to evacuate over fears the Oroville Dam spillway would fail, are staying at a hotel in Fairfield until it's safe to return home. (KGO-TV)

Some people under mandatory evacuations over fears the Oroville Dam emergency spillway will flood are staying in parts of the Bay Area.

One family fled from Yuba City Sunday night when they got word of the threat from the spillway at the Oroville Dam.

"Knowing that your home, your livelihood, you have to leave it behind is very, very overwhelming," evacuee Gurjit Dale said.


In all, 40 members of one extended family are now waiting it out at a hotel in Fairfield.

They say unlike the chaotic exodus of bumper to bumper traffic many evacuees endured Sunday night, their drive was smooth because someone who works at the dam gave them a heads up before the mandatory order was issued. Still, leaving was not drama free, especially for the children.

RELATED: No end in sight for Oroville evacuations, residents make due

"I just grabbed my laptop and started shoving clothes in my suitcases as I started to pack, that's when it hit: 'OK this is happening.' I was frantically running all over the house packing," evacuee Anisha Gill said.

There is no word when this family or the thousands and thousands of others will be allowed back home. "This is still a dynamic situation. It's still a situation we're trying to assess," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said.

RELATED: Mandatory evacuations in place for residents near Oroville Dam

For the family staying in Fairfield, it has been surreal. "The typical thing for Yuba City is it's a boring town, nothing to do. Yesterday, it felt look a town in a movie, an apocalyptic-movie kind of thing," evacuee Bhavin Dale said.

Butte County sheriff officials are working on a re-population plan for all evacuees once the situation is deemed safe.

Click here for more of ABC7 News' photos, video and stories on the Oroville Dam.
Related Topics:
newsoroville damevacuationstate of emergencyu.s. & worldFairfield
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