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March 7, 2014

Severe drought over half of county

GREENVILLE — Despite another brush with ice and snow this week, portions of Hunt County remain listed under a severe drought.

The remainder of the county was still under moderate drought conditions, according the United States Drought Monitor, the readings for which were taken Tuesday, with the results released Thursday morning.

The northwestern half of Hunt County was reported to be under severe drought conditions, with the southeastern half under a moderate drought.

 Areas in southeast Hunt County were reported to have received up to 2.5 inches of ice and freezing rain as a result of the major winter storm which crossed the region between Sunday and Monday.

Other areas of the county received around 1 inch of wintry precipitation during the event.

Even so, rainfall totals are well behind normal throughout the region. One local rain gauge has only recorded 1.13 inches of rain in Greenville since January 1.

While not an official total, it compares to a 30-year average of 10.41 inches of rain for the first three months of the year.

Through March 31 cities served by the North Texas Municipal Water District — which include Royse City and Rockwall and the Caddo Basin and Cash Special Utility Districts — 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.

The water level on Lake Tawakoni had fallen to 428 feet as of Thursday. The reservoir is 9.5 feet below the spillway and is 64.2 percent full.

Lake Lavon was reported to be 48 percent full Thursday, with Cooper (Jim Chapman) Lake down to 31 percent full.

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