Area drought slowly improving with continued rainfall

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, June 11, 2012

EVANS, Ga. -- The rain may be inconvenient for some, but it's really needed in this part of the Southeast.

Augusta is the Garden City after all, and like any garden, this area needs rain. Slowly but surely, experts say rainfall totals are improving, pulling this area out of a drought.

Do you want to go play in the water fountain?" Crystal Corriher asked her daughter, Caitlyn Young.

Crystal and Caitlyn decided rain or shine, they were going to the playground.

"We were just kinda cooped up and wanting some fresh air and wanted to let her outside to play," Crystal said. "I love the rain. It's cleansing, it's beautiful. We definitely needed the rain, that's for sure."

Twenty-four rainfall totals from parts of Columbia County show more than 2.30 inches fell between Sunday and Monday.

Area water experts are missing out on the puddles, many of are them in Dallas, Texas, this week for the American Water Works Convention.

"That's a significant amount of rain in a short amount of time," said Columbia County Water Quality Manager Margaret Doss by phone. "The rainfall will definitely help with the drought. The problem is, it doesn't help as much as it could, because it all came over such a short period."

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, data since April shows parts of the CSRA at "severe," "extreme" and "exceptional" drought levels. The last two weeks, though, we've improved.

"That, to me, looks like a good omen that maybe we're getting ready to work our way back to normal," Doss said.

Experts say more consistent rain, however, is really what the ground is craving.

"If we had the same amount of rain, stretched out over a two to three week period, it would have more impact on believing the drought than it's going to have now," Doss said.

But every drop and drip is helping get us out of the red.

"Every little bit helps and especially any water that rained upstream of the dam helps a lot," Doss said.

Experts say a soaking rain like the one we've gotten the last two days is also a problem because the ground can only absorb so much. Instead of a long, continuous drizzle, most of the hard rain becomes runoff and never soaks in.

Either way, a few days of weather like this is still bound to help.

"Definitely love the rain. You can see I'm out here in it," Crystal said.

Experts also note that conservation by people like you at home has really helped to keep the drought status lower in this area.


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