The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Local News

January 11, 2013

Drought disaster declared in county

Even as Hunt County was in the middle of receiving its heaviest rainfall in months, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was placing the county and much of the surrounding area under a disaster declaration due to recent drought conditions.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday designated 597 counties in 14 states as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

“As drought persists, USDA will continue to partner with producers to see them through longer-term recovery, while taking the swift actions needed to help farmers and ranchers prepare their land and operations for the upcoming planting season,” said Vilsack. “I will also continue to work with Congress to encourage passage of a Food, Farm and Jobs bill that gives rural America the long-term certainty they need, including a strong and defensible safety net.”

Hunt, Collin, Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Kaufman, Lamar, Rains and Rockwall counties were included under the designation.

The USDA report indicated the counties had shown a drought intensity value of at least D2 (Drought Severe) for eight consecutive weeks based on U.S. Drought Monitor measurements, providing for an automatic designation.

That was before this week’s rains.

The National Weather Service reported 48-hour rainfall totals, ending at 6 a.m. Thursday, ranged from 2.21 to 2.78 inches in Greenville, depending on the location of the gauge.

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index measures soil moisture. A reading of 800 is the highest on the scale, meaning that it would take eight or more inches of rainfall to bring the soil to saturation.

Monday afternoon, the county’s readings under the index ranged from 207 to 562, with an average across the county of 463.

As of Thursday, the readings ranged between 2 and 383, with an average across the county of 252.

More rain is on tap for this weekend, as showers and thunderstorms are included in the National Weather Service forecast between Friday night and Sunday morning, as a powerful cold front crosses the region.

1
Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

Poll

What's been the primary cause of the Texas Rangers' poor first half of the 2014 baseball season?

Too many injuries
The loss of Nolan Ryan in the front office
Questionable decisions by general manager Jon Daniels
On-field decisions by manager Ron Washington
Key players just aren't producing
All of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Must Read
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Reader's Choice