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March 16, 2013

Hunt County once again listed under severe drought

GREENVILLE — By at least one measurement, Hunt County is again under a severe drought.

While the occasional shower or thunderstorm has kept the soil in the area moist enough, the overall lack of precipitation during the past few months has left the county well behind on rainfall totals. One local reservoir is down almost six feet.

The United States Drought Monitor, released Thursday, listed Hunt County — along with Delta, Fannin, Hopkins and Lamar counties and the eastern portion of Collin County — under severe drought conditions. The measurements used in compiling the report were taken early Tuesday morning.

Majors Field Municipal Airport in Greenville reported receiving either 4.19 or 5.86 inches of rain, depending on the gauge, between January and February, compared to an average rainfall of 6.19 inches of rain for the period.

While that doesn’t sound too drastic, Greenville received only 1.1 inches of precipitation during November and December, when it normally collects more than 7.5 inches of rain.

So far this month, the airport has recorded between half and three-fourths of an inch of rain. March has an average rainfall of 4.22 inches.

The water level on Lake Tawakoni was reported at 432.61 feet Friday afternoon, compared to the pool elevation of 437.5 feet.

Hunt County has been listed by the Texas Forest under high fire danger conditions more than once this week, due to the lack of rain, warm temperatures and gusting winds.

The county is not currently under a burn ban, although there are still certain restrictions to outdoor burning. The burning of household trash is only permissible during daylight hours and the wind speed cannot be greater then 23 mph. Natural materials, such as brush and limbs can be burned, but not treated or painted lumber.

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