Recent Rains, Instability of Dam Threaten Northern California Communities

Updated: February 15, 2017 [10:45 am]

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, February 14 at 2:45 pm that “hundreds of people at an emergency shelter watched a broadcast as the sheriff said people could return to their homes because the danger from a damaged dam spillway had lessened.

“People staying at Neighborhood Church of Chico started packing immediately when Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced the evacuation order was lifted.

“Margaret Johnston spent two nights at the church with her two sons. The 69-year-old Oroville resident had packed a few blankets, pillows and clothes into a black garbage bag. She’s relieved to be able to go home. But she says the mad rush to get out of Oroville was chaotic and confusing, so she’s going to wait a while before driving back.”

The Neighborhood Church of Chico, one of two Alliance churches that have been housing evacuees in the affected area, posted the following on its Facebook Page:

“Hey everyone, we are so thankful for all those that leaned in to help us house the 550 folks who were evacuated. Yes, the evacuation has been lifted and folks are moving out. Donations of food and supplies are no longer needed but we still need those volunteers who signed up for tonight and anyone else who can help. There’s a lot of clean up to do in order to be ready for church Sunday. Our goal is to get that all done today and be back to normal tomorrow, CCS included.

“Thanks again, we’re so blessed by our church family and the surrounding community!”

Volunteers from Paradise (CA) Alliance Church prepare to house and serve Oroville Dam evacuees. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Gronseth)
On February 13 at 1:04 am, Sarah Gronseth posted on Paradise Alliance Church’s Facebook page:

I love seeing the Body of Christ at work! Thank you everyone who donated blankets, cots, food, toothbrushes, and so much more! Thank you to everyone who is staying at the church with the evacuees—praying with them, loving on them, and keeping them safe. Even in this crazy time, it’s awesome to see God’s perfect timing. He is truly so good!

See More #ParadiseCMA #OrovilleSpillway

Please pray

  • that the water levels in the Orroville Dam will continue to recede
  • that efforts succeed to fortify the emergency spillway which remains in danger of erosion
  • that no harm will come to the Marysville church and its community
  • that the coming storms will diminish and divert to keep the dams and waterways from becoming overwhelmed
  • that the Chico, Paradise, and Marysville churches, along with the rest of the Alliance family in northern California, will continue to radiate Christ’s comfort and assurance during this time of uncertainty

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Posted: February 14, 2017 [10:47 am]

The following update was sent by superintendent Ray Van Gilst to churches in the Central Pacific District on Monday, February 13:

Dear CPD family,

Water flowing from the damaged main and eroding overflow spillways of Oroville Dam, CA. (Photo by William Croyle, California Department of Water Resources)

Part of our church family in Northern California is facing a challenging week. As I’m sure you have heard, there is a massive evacuation that has happened due to the problems of the Oroville Dam. I have been in touch with our Marysville church family, and they have all evacuated the area.

On the other side of things, both our Chico and Paradise churches have become evacuation centers, with about 350 people being housed in Chico, and another 250 housed in Paradise, both being just minutes from Oroville. While being overwhelmed, they are doing a great job of meeting the needs of those displaced, both physically and spiritually. We are getting reports of people rededicating their lives to the Lord, as well as expressing spiritual interest maybe for the first time.

From the sounds of it, this emergency will continue well into the week as officials try to ascertain the condition of the dam, as we have more rain coming in on Wednesday.

Thank you in advance for your prayers for these 3 churches. If you want to help in any way, we can facilitate that through our office.

In His Love and Service,

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