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Oroville Dam Evacuee Reunited With Bike He Abandoned When Warnings Came

BUTTE COUNTY (CBS13) - Thousands of residents returning home after being evacuated from eroding the Oroville Dam spillway, but not getting comfortable.

"Excited to be home," said Mireya Virgen after pulling up to her house that was still standing.

"It looks exactly how we left it," said her daughter Zuri.

The evacuation orders came on Sunday night, and within 20 minutes they left Live Oak.

"Took us like 5 to 6 hours to get out of this town," Virgen said.

Along with thousands of others who filled up their gas tanks and dodged town. Even a three-wheeler was abandoned on the side of the road.

But like many concerned evacuees, Virgin and Zuri are not unloading just yet.

"I think we are just going to keep it like that and be ready to go," Virgen said.

Some even decided to stay at the shelter in Chico instead of going home.

"It's a lot to get in and out and the traffic that we had to go through to get here, there's just a lot of concerns about that dam breaking," said Krystal Morrison of Oroville.

She has two young children and believes the risk isn't worth it.

"There is just an underlying comfort of being here then being there," she said.

That comfort was felt in many different ways.

After two days of mandatory evacuations, the owner of the bike said it was still where he left it.

A few good Samaritans gave J.W. Martin and his trusty companion a lift back from the shelter to his bike.

"'He said throw your stuff in the truck we got to go!' He said they had an hours notice," he told after he feared getting washed away by flood waters.

He said it was worth getting out of harm's way and going to the shelter.

"We've been stuck there and trying to make the best of it," he said and they did just that.

Now taking the little time they have to help each other and brace for whatever strikes next.

While the mandatory evacuations have been lifted, there's still an advisory and officials warned residents to be ready at a moment's notice.

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