By BRAD KELLAR
The local drought numbers have not improved, despite the passing showers and thunderstorms in recent days.
Portions of the north and northeast sections of Hunt County have been a little “wetter” than the southern end of the county, although most of the county remains listed under severe drought conditions.
The level on Lake Tawakoni continues to fall and mandatory water usage restrictions remain in place across the region.
Scattered showers and storms passed over Hunt County again Friday morning, with another chance of rain in the forecast during the nighttime hours.
Data for the United States Drought Monitor report, posted Thursday indicated that all but the northeast corner of Hunt County was still under a severe drought, with the corner listed under a moderate drought conditions.
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.
Friday afternoon, the county’s readings under the index ranged from 330 to 630 with an average across the county of 540.
The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) has implemented Stage 3 outdoor watering restrictions, which means residential and business customers served by the district are limited to landscape watering with sprinkler or irrigation systems once every seven days. Other restrictions apply, depending on the city.
The City of Greenville is currently under Stage 2 water restrictions. Landscape irrigation is limited to Sundays and Thursdays for customers with a street address ending in an even number and Saturdays and Wednesdays for customers with a street address ending in an odd number. Landscape irrigation is permitted at anytime with a hand-held hose, a faucet filled bucket or watering can of five gallons or less, or a drip irrigation system.
The level on Lake Tawakoni, from which the City of Greenville pumps water to help maintain the levels on the municipal reservoir system, was listed at 430.83 feet Friday afternoon, down more than six feet from the lake’s pool elevation of 437.5 feet, but still well above the all-time lowest level seen on reservoir — 424.9 feet — which was recorded on Dec. 29, 2006.
There is no current burn ban in place in Hunt County, although are restrictions to outdoor burning. The burning of household trash is permissible, but the wind speed cannot be greater than 23 mph.
Natural materials, such as brush and limbs can be burned, but not treated or painted lumber. No prohibited material — including but not limited to rubber, plastics, wire, insulation and furniture — can be burned, and a responsible person must be present during active burning.