Steady rain boon for county

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We should all be thankful for the beneficial rain that fell on Denton County during the last couple of days.

We realize that traffic problems may have been a little worse than usual and that you probably had to dash through a few puddles to get where you needed to go, but we shouldn’t let those small problems prevent us from being grateful.

You won’t see any farmers complaining about a few inconveniences. For them, the long, slow, soaking rain that began Tuesday afternoon and fell through most of the day in most areas on Wednesday could prove to be a lifesaver.

Some of us may not keep track of such things, but those who live close to the soil understand just how critical a well-timed rain can be. When the skies opened up for this round of showers, the moisture helped ease the suffering of several months of drought.

We don’t know how much your rain gauge recorded, but when we checked at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the Denton Airport had already reported 3.21 inches of precipitation. And the rain continued to fall.

It’s been a while since the county had that much rain, and the fact that the moisture came slow and steady was another blessing — it should bode well for spring planting.

But the rain was beneficial for other reasons. It will not only help prepare the ground for the rebirth of spring, but it will also lower the area’s risk for wildfire.

Jody Gonzalez, Denton County’s emergency management coordinator, said he and other officials are excited to get out from under the drought that has plagued the county for so long.

“A lot of folks don’t realize how significant it was,” he told us.

The drought affected the county throughout 2012, Gonzalez said and led to burn bans in June, September and November. The last ban was finally lifted the day after Christmas, due to the snow.

The dry conditions were made worse by steady winds, making any spark a risk to begin a dangerous and costly blaze.

The rain also should help boost area lakes, which have stood at significantly low levels in recent months. It will be awhile before we know for sure, but this recent rainfall should help.

The availability of water is critical to the future prosperity of North Texas. Increasing demand resulting from growth and the ongoing drought have combined to strain supplies, and in spite of repeated warnings, many of us have failed to adopt lasting conservation measures.

Water will continue to be a precious commodity, and future lifestyle changes may be required to ensure an adequate supply.

But for now, at least, on this rainy day, we have been given a refreshing respite.

For that, we give thanks.

 


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