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The Good Side: Flooding Rain Allows Texas City To Lift Water Restrictions

17 Jun 2015, 3:20 pm

WICHITA FALLS

While all the focus on the deep South has been around the widespread flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill, a notable positive note emerged from the extreme rainfall of the last seven weeks.

The city of Wichita Falls, Texas, about 125 miles northwest of Dallas, lifted emergency water restrictions on Tuesday night, over a full year after they were first implemented. The city of about 100,000 was in a Stage 5 drought emergency just a year ago, with city reservoirs less than a quarter full. But with substantial rainfall over the past two months, particularly during the month of May, two of the city’s three reservoirs are over 100 percent full, and a third is over 72 percent full. A year ago, the three reservoirs were a combined 23 percent of average, and a month ago the three were just 46.8 percent full.

But with the heavy rainfall, the city’s residents can now return to normal water usage. Previously, local residents couldn’t wash their vehicles at non-commercial car washes, restaurants couldn’t serve water to patrons without being asked, and residents couldn’t water their lawns during the day. All of those restrictions were lifted this week as the city continues to recover from the multi-year drought that plagued much of Texas and Oklahoma before the recent rounds of historic rain across the region.

Since January 1st, Wichita Falls has received 28.69″ of rainfall, more than double the city’s usual year-to-date rainfall of 14.10″. More rain is likely through Thursday as Bill’s remnants pull to the north and east, but a much drier pattern settles in for the weekend and next week, which should slowly help alleviate flooding conditions in the area.

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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