Drought conditions loom in East Texas despite rains

TYLER (KYTX) - Heavy rains have soaked East Texas this week, and while we may have seen some flooding, that doesn't mean we're out of a drought.

These few weeks of good rain have helped, but state reports show we're still under moderate drought condition here in East Texas.

Local experts say Lake Tyler is three and a half feet lower than it should be.

"Right now we're about 10 inches behind on our rainfall, so while we have gotten some nice rain over the last few weeks, we still need more rain," said Tyler Utilities and Public Works Director Greg Morgan.

He says recent rains have only brought Lake Tyler up about 15 hundredths of a foot. It's news that surprises Brandon Holley, who lives in Tyler.

"Especially since all the streets, all the yards were flooded after what happened [Thursday], and our lake is completely full out front. It's really shocking that we're still in a drought!" Holley said.

Unfortunately,spring isn't the only season experts are concerned about.

"The weather predictions are for another dry summer," Morgan said.

That's why he's asking for the public's help.

"We just want to remind citizens that because of the lack of rainfall we've been receiving, the fact that we're behind, that we're still requesting voluntary compliance. We're suggesting some things primarily having to do with outdoor watering, particularly with their automated irrigations systems," Morgan said.

Under the city's Step One voluntary system, if your address ends in an even number, you can set your irrigation system for Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"Odd numbers water Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays," Holley said, "so I've been trying to keep up with that plan."

You can water by hand any time.

"Sometimes I like to water my own yard because it helps make sure that I'm conserving water and not over watering anything," Holley said.

"By taking these steps they will help us conserve our water supply as we go into the summer but they'll also help themselves in regards to their water bills," Morgan said. So you're not just helping your community, but also, your wallet!

Morgan says Lake Palestine is close to full because it's much bigger and has collected more water. Lake Palestine and Lake Tyler each provide about 50 percent of the area's water supply.

In addition to the lakes, a small percentage of our water supply comes from wells around East Texas.


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