Drought takes lingering toll on Porterville

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Vickie Yorba, 95, says she hasn't had running water at her Porterville home in more than a year. Dry wells are dramatically changing the way many residents live. (KFSN)

Vickie Yorba, 95, says she hasn't had running water at her Porterville home in more than a year. Dry wells are dramatically changing the way many residents live.

A recent water delivery to the area gives hope to those living in the dry conditions. But, the 100,000 donated water bottles are only expected to last one month.

Meanwhile, thousands are living in the destitute conditions.

What happens when the water just stops?

"I was watering and all of the sudden I didn't have any water," said Vickie Yorba of East Porterville.

Vickie Yorba, 95, isn't sure exactly when that was: "Oh golly, I don't even remember -- it seems like years really."

Since then the well at her East Porterville home has been dry. Vickie needed help. Thankfully Donna Johnson was ready and willing.

"I just think I'm doing what people should be doing," said Johnson.

Donna began taking water to people in need. She's been doing it now for more than two years in East Porterville.

The section of Tulare County is bearing the bulk of the California drought burden. More help is now available -- including a recent donation of 100-thousand bottles of water.

Donna says the donation speaks volumes to those going without. "Hope, strength, the people know that people care, and that they're going to get more water for a day or a month or a few weeks until we get permanent solutions."

Right now Vickie and others are managing. Daily routines have been forced to change dramatically -- from soaking in a tub, to sponge baths.

"Soak myself real good and then get a little dipper and if there's a little water saved, I save it," said Yorba.

Things that used to bring Yorba joy are also gone. "I wanna cry because I used to make my own jelly and my own fruit trees. I had beautiful flowers -- roses and everything is nothing now."

Nothing, in a country that's often viewed by the rest of the world as having it all.
Related Topics:
droughtcalifornia waterwatertulare countyPorterville
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