The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

July 20, 2013

Rain proves to be no drought buster

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

— It rained in Hunt County Friday, with some locations receiving an absolute drenching and with flooding reported in and around Commerce.

Not everyone received rain and the scattered showers and thunderstorms which have crossed the county this week have done little to alleviate the drought.

The level on Lake Tawakoni continues to fall and mandatory water usage restrictions remain in place across the region.

Although some gauges across Hunt County recorded close to two inches of rainfall following the passage of storms Friday, other locations were left high and dry. Officially, Greenville has received less than three-quarters of an inch so far this month.

The City of Greenville receives an average of 3.16 inches of rain each July.

Data for the United States Drought Monitor report was posted Thursday and indicated that all but the northeast corner of Hunt County was listed 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 355 to 600 with an average across the county of 496.

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), which provides water to Royse City, as well as the Caddo Basin Special Utility District and the Cash Special Utility District in Hunt County, 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 evern 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 431.07 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.