By BRAD KELLAR
This week’s rains may have helped wet the ground, but did little to raise the levels on area lakes.
Hunt County was still listed under a moderate drought Thursday, according to the United States Drought Monitor. The information was released Thursday, although the measurements were taken locally Tuesday morning.
Another drought gauge also revealed most, but not all, of the county has been lifted out of the drought.
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. Hunt County’s readings under the index as of Thursday ranged from 201 to 500, with an average across the county of 349.
One week ago, the county’s average was still at 529, but that was before between two and six inches of precipitation fell during a rain event which ended Wednesday evening. Even with the rain, the level on Lake Tawakoni remains well below normal.
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.
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.