Rains have minimal effect on Central Texas drought

The rains Thursday left many in drought-stricken Central Texas rejoicing. However, the rain brought short-lived relief, says Bob Rose, a meteorologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA).

In the short term, this has helped, Rose said. It's put a little bit of moisture in the ground; a lot of vegetation is starting to green up, and the fire danger has temporarily at least lessened a little bit.So we've seen some positive impacts from the rain.

It is not enough. It will take more than just one gully-washing rain event to put a dent in the drought.
I mean, we have been so dry now for the last eight months, Rose said. You know, one little rain of two to three inches is not gonna end it, so we need repeated rains - hopefully not all at once, but we need some of these repeated rains of say, two or three inches to try to bring us out.
Austin water spokesman Jason Hill agrees.He does not want people to become complacent when it comes to saving water.
We don't want our customers to think just because we saw one or two days of good rain, that we're gonna lift the water restrictions; the water restrictions have been in effect continuously since 2009, Hill said.
Robert Hartigan is a district chief with the Oak Hill Fire Department.He's heeding those restrictions for a very good reason -- his own home has a well, which got less than an inch of rain Thursday.
It's a concern because the water table's only so deep, for the wells -- the well that I have -- and so it's a concern that I don't want to run dry, said Hartigan.
While the rain that fell was certainly welcome, Central Texas remains in either an exceptional, or extreme drought.It could take a dozen storms like Thursday's to erase the rain deficit.
Hartigan says Thursday's rains will probably help out the Oak Hill Fire Department for only a week or two when fighting fires.


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