Community Doesn’t Let Oroville Dam Evacuation Stop Valentine’s Day Wedding Plans

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — An Olivehurst couple had plans to get married on Valentine’s Day, but then found themselves evacuated.

They were planning to reschedule their big day, until community members stepped up on Tuesday, and hours later they were saying “I do.”

Leotta Litke and her family were part of the tens of thousands forced to evacuate out of fear that the Oroville Dam auxiliary spillway could collapse.

“We’ve been through a lot, so we really appreciate what’s going on,” said Litke’s best friend.

While spending a couple of nights at the Placer County Fairgrounds evacuation center in Roseville, Leotta and her boyfriend of 10 years had a brief conversation with new friends about how disappointed they were to reschedule their February 14th wedding plans.

But in that moment, they didn’t realize that their dream may not be far off.

“They said they wanted to get married today, and we said hey we can make that happen,” said a church pastor.

From church members, to Placer County staff, to local businesses, and fellow evacuees, a wedding was planned in just hours.

“We put the word out and people came through tremendously. We had donated dresses, a donated suit, donated desserts, everything was donated and we couldn’t be more happy for them,” said Chris Gray-Garcia with Placer County.

Both Leotta and Henry were nervous before the ceremony, but afterwards:

“I gotta tell you she looked gorgeous,” said Henry.

“I just want to thank everyone, I’m just happy to be Mrs. Rueda,” said Leotta.

And so through the chaos of evacuation orders, and the uncertainty of the crisis, a true love story unfolds.

“We often don’t meet our neighbors, we don’t know the people around us and here we are able to help out, so it’s really cool,” said one churchgoer.

“I’m really happy for her and we never thought would be able to do this,” said Leotta’s best friend.

A true show of love and community.

And in the end, a limo picked up the couple for a night’s stay at a hotel. All donated, so they don’t have to spend their wedding night in an evacuation shelter.

Meanwhile, there are about 150 people still left at the shelter.

More from Shirin Rajaee
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