Valley Drought 2014: Storms Raise Hopes Across Valley's Westside
Word of not just one, but two storms has people talking in Mendota-- a town that's expected to feel the brunt of the impending drought.
"It's very good news," says David Benitez, moments after ordering food at a taco truck.
He lives in Firebaugh, but works planting tomatoes in Huron.
He says those who works in the fields won't be the only ones to benefit from more water. "That's work for the canneries, too. If they don't get tomatoes, they don't have work," he says.
Javier Maravilla also hopes the storms deliver.
"It's a relief, liquid gold," he says.
Maravilla hauls produce across the Central Valley.
"We eat and live off the fields. If there's no water, there's no work," Maravilla says.
But experts caution, don't expect a miracle from these storms.
"One or two storms is not going to make this a significant addition to the deficit that we're in," says Ryan Jacobsen, with the Fresno County Farm Bureau. "It helps, but we're in such a huge deficit that it could rain every week until May and we're still gonna be in a hole."
The storms come days after the federal government announced a zero percent initial allocation for Westside growers.
Even so, people are just happy with the help from the clouds-- independent of restrictions and leases and politics.
Jesus Meza walked up to the truck and ordered food.
The Mendota High School Junior's father works planting tomatoes.
Jesus remembers the devastating drought in 2009.
He says it was enough to force people out of work and onto food lines.
"People were leaving Mendota. My dad had to go somewhere else to work. It was hard for us," Meza says.
So he says that it's easy to see why people are excited with even just inches of rain on the way.
"It's a big deal for Mendota," he says.