• August 21, 2014

Many, including farmers, happy to see rain showers

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Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:30 am

Slow drenching rains caused no major road traffic accidents or road closings in the Fort Hood area by Monday afternoon, state and local officials said.

Area farmers welcomed the much-needed moisture for their summer crops.

According to the National Weather Service monthly average, July is normally the driest month of the year in Central Texas.

Within the first 48 hours of the showers, Belton Lake received 3.14 inches.

Waco received 4.37 inches of rain during the same period.

“For July this is very noteworthy; we don’t see these kinds of rainfall totals,” NWS meteorologist Steve Fano said.

The average monthly rainfall for July in Bell County is 2.45 inches.

“This one event has, in one day, produced (more than) the monthly rainfall for the area,” Fano said.

NWS officials said rain was possible through Thursday, with high temperatures remaining in the mid-80s and low 90s. The average temperature for Bell County in July is 97 degrees.

As a result of the heavy rains, Bell and Coryell county officials lifted burn bans Monday.

Highway deluge

Most of Central Texas was under a flash flood watch all day Monday, according to NWS.

Flash floods still remain a possibility through the week, as drainage systems became overwhelmed by continued rain.

“With a rapid rise in water, the streets could become impassable,” Fano said.

The Texas Department of Transportation closed a section of southbound Interstate 35 in Belton on Monday due to standing water in the left lanes.

The Killeen Police Department and Copperas Cove officials did not report any closures or major accidents as of 5 p.m. Monday.

“At the rate it is coming down, we should hopefully be in good shape,” Deputy Fire Chief Gary Young said. “If the speed of the rain increases, we will have to relook at the area.”

Young said there is not a lot of high-traffic flooding areas in the city, but those traveling through the area should be mindful of any low-water crossings they come across.

“Turn around, don’t drown,” Young said.

The Copperas Cove City Park is prone to flooding, and the duck pond at the park is already full, Young said. Areas in the park that do flood also have barriers in place that will be closed if waterways swell.

Farm and ranch

The heavy rain washed away fears of continued drought for many farmers and ranchers in Bell and Coryell Counties, said Lyle Zoeller, Bell County Extension agent.

Although the showers will not boost corn crops, which are already in their drying stages, many of the foraging crops, such as hay and cotton, will benefit from the added moisture in the soil.

“Most folks are diversified in their operation,” Zoeller said. “The rain will be beneficial to most anybody involved in agriculture.

“This should be enough to get us over the hump and secure a good cotton crop.”

Mason W. Canales contributed to this report.

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