14 Feb

Evacuees from Yuba City, one of the largest Indian American enclaves, flee to nearby areas.  

The Sikh Temple of Sacramento at 2301 Evergreen Avenue, West Sacramento (Courtesy of twitter)

Several Sikh temples have come forward to offer meals and shelter to the evacuees of Yuba City and areas in Sutton County after local authorities ordered emergency evacuation on Sunday after the California Department of Water Resources noticed damage to the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway.

The area has a large Indian American population, with some 13 percent tracing ancestry to Punjab, in India.

The Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg tweeted that people could take shelter in the Sikh temples situated around the area. He said that he is told that they have arrangements for meals too.

Dr. Gurtej Singh Cheema, a physician and a local Sikh activist, told the Huffington Post that Sacramento’s Capital Sikh Center are prepared to help the resident evacuating the Yuva County area.

The gurdwara is one of the closest for residents leaving Yuba City.

“We’re well prepared,” he said. “We have meals, shelter. We can accommodate at least 50 people here.”

Cheema told the Huffington Post that they have already received three families and several more have called to apprise of their arrival.

“We have three families over here right now, and we’re expecting at least 10 more [to spend the night],” Cheema added. Overall, he said the gurudwara had received 30 calls from individuals saying they were on their way, fighting gridlocked traffic in the area.

“We’re glad we can help and are available,” he added.

Yuba City’s first Sikh temple was built in 1969, and the community’s roots in the area date back to decades earlier. In November, Yuba City was home to the biggest Sikh event outside India, according to The Sacramento Bee.