California: Gurdwara provides sanctuary to Lake Oroville dam evacuees

New York [U.S.], Feb. 15 : With over 188,000 people living near the overflowing Lake Oroville dam being asked to evacuate immediately, members of the Northern California Sikh community are giving the affecting what they need most right now: a place to stay.

"We announced that if anybody needs help, medical help, or anything we are open," said Ranjeet Singh, the manager of the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh temple in West Sacramento, California.

Scores of people living near the dam were told to evacuate on Sunday, as workers scrambled to patch a giant hole in the spillway that lets out excess water when lake levels get too high.

And if the spillway fails, officials fear it could cause widespread flooding, reports CNN. Singh said his temple has two large halls that can sleep about 400 people. "People started to come here Sunday night and more than 200 people were here. We have so many from Sikh community, and white community, and the black and Mexican communities also," he said.

With several leaving their homes in a hurry with the bare necessities, Singh says the temple is providing whatever necessities people left behind.

The temple is buying most of the supplies, but Singh says they are also receiving donations. "They call us and say 'do you need anything like blankets and food and water,' and they bring it," Singh said.

The temples have also been feeding hungry evacuees. "We don't know how long they are going to be staying here. It depends on their situations," Singh said. "We welcome everyone for as long as they want to stay here.".

Source: ANI