Relief Yet Caution for Returning Oroville Residents

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OROVILLE -- Tired, hungry and in need of a restroom, the McDonald's off Highway 70 and Oro Dam Boulevard in Oroville was the first stop for hundreds of evacuees returning to their city Tuesday.

When the fast-food restaurant's doors opened at 6:15 p.m. long lines formed inside and in the drive-through, customers who rushed home were served by employees who were called in on short notice -- for a paycheck, and in this case, to help out.

"These are all 'volunteers,' they weren't supposed to work tonight but they were able to make it in," a McDonald's supervisor told FOX40.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea announced the mandatory evacuation order issued Sunday had become an advisory evacuation -- allowing the 188,000 residents in multiple cities and counties to go home.

"It feels great," said an excited yet exhausted Stacy Villareal standing in her kitchen.

Villareal and her daughter Lindsay had just started a batch of cinnamon rolls when we stopped by.

Monday night the two, and other family, spent the evening trying to sleep in their car in Chico, unable to get into the already full evacuation centers.

For some here, the beginning of re-entry into normalcy won't come back for a while, at least not while work on the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway continues, the main spillway is still nowhere near ideal and more rain is expected soon.

"I think it's going to break," said lifelong Oroville resident William Karn.

Another placed residents stopped by Tuesday was the Feather River.

"I've never seen it like this, ever," a women named Suzi told FOX40 while staring at the quick flow of the water.