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"We've lost it all": Fast-moving floodwaters inundates central California town

CA, 17 Mar 2023
Residents of a tight-knit community in the small rural town of Porterville, Calif., waded through knee-deep water on Thursday to feed their animals and try to retrieve what they could from their homes after a levee on the Tule River broke and flooded their entire neighbourhood.

Residents said the fast-moving flood water destroyed everything in its path within 15 minutes, leaving no time to evacuate or remove their belongings and animals.

Victoria Bodley, who has lived in the community for over 50 years, says the magnitude of the flood blindsided her. "I lost all my whole livelihood here. My 86-year-old father lives there, and he's lost everything. Everything," she said. "We've lost it all."

Plus, evacuation orders have been issued for residents of the community due to rising floodwaters. Water levels are quickly rising at Lake Success, forcing water to flow down to the Schaffer dam, creating dangerous conditions along the Tule River.

Flooding also ravaged Kern County, Calfi., and Pajaro, Calif.

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