Elderly Petersburg woman needs help after pipe in home burst

Updated: Feb. 10, 2017 at 5:49 PM EST
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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - An elderly woman in Petersburg has been living with no water in her home for weeks.

Berline Parker has been relying on neighbors to deliver water every day, but now she is reaching out to 12 On Your Side for help because she can't keep living like this. Parker is 89 years old, and for 50 of those years, she has been living at a home on Commerce Street.

"I just had a birthday, January the 2nd," she said.

Shortly after that birthday, a snowstorm covered the area and a pipe burst at Parker's home.

"See, I forgot to leave my water dripping," she said. "When I woke up the next morning, turn the water on, I couldn't get no water."

Since then, there has been no water at her home.

Neighbors come by every day. They fill up the empty jugs and drop it off so Parker can cook and clean. She heats the water on her stove.

This isn't Parker's only hardship. She is also a widow. Her husband Raymond Parker suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Back in August, he went missing.

"He told me he wanted to go home to his mother and father, and I said, 'You're mother and father ain't with us no more,'" says Parker.

His body was found a couple of weeks later. She also had to bury her daughter the same year.

Now that she relies solely on her fixed income, a large home repair is something she just cannot afford.

"I pay my light bill, gas bill, water bill, cable bill," she said. "I think I have about a hundred and something dollars in the bank."

This isn't the first time the pipe burst. It happened a few years ago, and she says the contractor left the pipe exposed in the bedroom. Parker says she took out a loan to pay for that job. It's something she is still paying off.

Within a few hours of hearing this story, Stemmle Plumbing called the NBC12 newsroom and said they want to help Parker. NBC12 will be following up on Monday.

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