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November 8, 2013

Differing drought data for county

Whether Hunt County remains under moderate drought conditions depends on which gauge you use.

This week’s rainfall appears to have finally lifted the county out of the drought which has been in place since spring, although one reading taken Tuesday indicates that the drought persists.

Water usage restrictions remain in place for many area cities, and area lake levels are still well below where they were one year ago.

Most locations reporting from Hunt County posted they received two inches or more in precipitation between Sunday and Wednesday.

A reading of 800 under the Keetch-Byram Drought Index is the highest on the scale, meaning that it would take eight or more inches of rainfall to bring the soil to saturation. As of Thursday, Hunt County’s readings under the index  ranged from 3 to 291, with an average across the county of 123.

However, according to the United States Drought Monitor, Hunt County and the surrounding area remain listed under a moderate drought. The information was released Thursday, although the measurements were taken locally Tuesday morning.

The level on Lake Tawakoni Thursday was reported to be 428.69 feet, down 8.81 feet from the spillway. The lake was 66.4 percent full Thursday afternoon.

One year ago, the lake was at 433.55 feet and 84 percent full.

Cities served by the North Texas Municipal Water District remain under Stage 3 outdoor watering restrictions, which means residential and business customers 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 listed under Stage 1 water conservation measures, which calls for voluntary limits on the irrigation of landscaped areas.

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