After the tallest dam in the US appeared ready to fail on Sunday, 188,000 California residents were ordered to evacuate their homes. Thousands of working class and poor families with nowhere to go frantically packed their most essential belongings and sought emergency shelter in nearby towns.
At the fairgrounds in Chico, California, more than a thousand men, women, children, and infants spent two nights sleeping on Red Cross cots or in their cars. Now, after crews reinforced the dam spillway with boulders, the evacuation order has been lifted and residents were told they could return home. However, an evacuation warning remains in place, meaning they must be prepared to re-evacuate at a moment’s notice. A solid week of rain is now forecast for the area, raising new concerns.