Many families living near Oroville Dam still reluctant to move back home

OROVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Precious Willis' adrenaline rush started on Sunday when her neighbor, Penny Faafiu, told her to run for her life.

"I hear sirens coming up and down the street, 'this is not a drill, this is not a drill-- evacuate, you have less than 60 minutes.' I completely freak out."

Willis, her mother, and two nieces crammed into an SUV, dodged three accidents on the freeway, and found refuge in an I-Hop parking lot.

"We pretty much lined to with covers and pushed out important stuff to one side, I let my seat back as far as it could and we camped out in the car for two days."

The stress lasted for almost 72 hours and finally on Tuesday officials announced that the damaged emergency spillway held and families allowed to return home but the comfort is short lived.

EMBED More News Videos

Brett Johnson's business is the only one open on the block. A man stopped by-- dropping off some repaired instruments and was his only visitor of the day.

"It's a temporary fix, nobody ever said they fixed it yet," said Dawn Milton, Oroville.

Instead of unpacking we watched as dozens of families across town throw more supplies into their car. Many worried about the upcoming storms and are not willing to take the risk.

"Because you just, you just don't know. This is Mother Nature, this is something we just don't know what's going to happen," said Milton.

Willis said she is already prepared for another possible evacuation-- and this time, she is ready

"Now everybody's like, 'oh that's Oroville,' yeah, that's Oroville, one of the biggest dam's I've been telling you but nobody believed me. "

Willis is now wishing that her town was never put on the map.

For the next few days, choppers will continue to drop massive boulders to fill the gaping hole.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.