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Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through September 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, August 6, 2013
U.S. Drought Monitor, August 27, 2013

Drought’s Impact Draws Attention from Hollywood- The drought’s impact on the Southern Plains and climate change was the topic of a meeting set up by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office and the Hale County Industrial Foundation. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University was the key speaker, and she explained the truth behind climate change and how it affects everyone beyond politics. The meeting was also attended by actor Don Cheadle and a documentary crew who was doing filming in Plainview that day.
The Plainview Herald, Ryan Crowe, August 13, 2013

Drought Approaching Extreme Levels- All of Hunt County is currently listed as under severe drought conditions, but it is headed towards extreme conditions. Lake Tawakoni is only 5 feet higher than its lowest level ever recorded and the city of Greenville sits under stage 2 drought restrictions. All of Hunt County is under a burn ban.
The Greenville Herald Banner, Brad Kellar, August 24, 2013

Water Treatment Plant Shuts Down Due to Drought- The brand new $140 million Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority water treatment facility has been shut down for two weeks due to lack of water. The treatment plant gets its water from Lake Travis, which has been too low to continue to provide water to the plant forcing it to close for several months. The new facility only supplies a small percentage of the water to Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Leander, so it is not absolutely necessary, but with populations expected to climb it will be in the future.
KVUE News, Andrew Chung, August 30, 2013

Water Supply

Thousands of Residents get Hot Water from Cold Faucet- The aquifer which feeds the city of Bryan is already hot with water pumped out at a temperature of 118 degrees, so the city has cooling tanks to cool the water. In the summer months it gets too hot for these to be extremely effective and those close to pumping facilities can get water from the tap up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The city is building a new cooling tank set to be complete by next summer to help cool water and meet the demand which is twice the capacity of the current pumps.
KBTX News, Rashi Vats, August 12, 2013

More Restrictions for Central Texas Cities- The city of Pflugerville is now under mandatory stage 3 water restrictions, which limits outdoor watering to once per week. The restrictions come after Lake Pflugerville, which provides 95% of the city’s water, dropped below the critical threshold of 700,000 acre-feet of water. This is the first time the city has ever been at this stage of restrictions.
KTBC News, August 14, 2013

Residents say Recent Rains bring Hope- Though 9-12 inches of rain are needed to remove the drought, that doesn’t stop people from enjoying rain when it falls. Residents have been faced with dead lawns and those with live ones have high water bills, so any rain is valued and appreciated.
KBTX News, Rashi Vats, August 14, 2013

Victoria Close to Stricter Water Use Rules- The Guadalupe River is down to 164 cubic feet per second which is near to the 150 cubic feet that would keep stage 3 restrictions going into September. The city is currently under stage 3 water restrictions which limit outdoor watering, ornamental fountains, and water service at restaurants.
The Victoria Advocate, August 15, 2013

Water Restrictions Vary Across Central Texas Towns- Austin has been under mandatory water restrictions for years, but other Texas cities are just now looking to implement drought restrictions. Pflugerville is now implementing stage 3 restrictions, which are similar to Austin’s stage 2, while Cedar Point has increased water prices by 9%. Round Rock gets water from a series of wells and is not under any restrictions at all, and won’t look to be until October at the earliest.
YNN Austin, Dan Robertson, August 19, 2013

How Much Water Will Hawaiian Falls Use?- Pflugerville recently accepted an offer to provide Hawaiian Falls Water Park $21 million to construct a water park in town. The park will open in May of 2014 and add jobs and bring money into the city. Some question bringing a water park into a town struggling with drought, but leaders in the Hawaiian Falls corporation say that the park will use approximately 10 million gallons of water per year, or roughly 1 days worth of water in Austin. The park has advanced water recycling and filtration processes to help conserve water and money.
The Austin American Statesman, Christina Pena, August 28, 2013


Fire Crews battling Wildfire in Camp County- Six miles south of Pittsburg a wildfire is being battled by fire crews at the intersection of CR 1344 and 1342. The fire has burned 15 acres and currently threatens a lumber mill.
The Longview News-Journal, August 12, 2013

Agricultural Impacts

Rain both Good, Bad for Crops- Storms pushing through Hale County Wednesday night brought beneficial rains, but also large hail to crops. The hail fell up to golf ball sized and came at a pivotal time right before harvest. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office toured Hale County looking at the damage and will meet with the USDA to determine if a disaster declaration is necessary to help farmers.
KFDA News, Ryan Crowe, August 15, 2013

No Water for Ft. Bend Farmers from Drought Depleted Brazos- The first rice harvest in Brazoria and Fort Bend Counties has been a good one, but there will not be a second. The high demand for water in the upstream Brazos River has prevented the flow that feeds rice farmer’s fields, and this is hurting their bottom line. The second crop is usually what makes or breaks farmers and the industry’s year, so continuing farming in continuously dry climate is a big gamble.
KRIV News, Greg Groogan, August 21, 2013

Texas Cotton Crop Facing Trouble Following Drought, Hail and Wind- King Cotton has not been doing too well this year across Texas, with 50% of the crop already lost. If the land was irrigated the cotton survived, but all land not irrigated was lost. Though irrigation saved many a farmer, even with that some strong storms in July damaged crops with hail and high winds. Though the High Plains have suffered, the Valley is expected to do even worse this year.
KFDA News, August 22, 2013

Inclement Weather


Heat Advisory Issued for East Texas, Surrounding Areas- With temperatures approaching 100 and heat indices above 105, the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for East Texas. The advisory urges people to take care in the heat and avoid outdoor activities if possible.
The Longview News Journal, August 2, 2013

Heat Advisory Issued for North Texas- The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a heat advisory for much of North Texas and suggests heat precautions to be taken to avoid the heat as well as related heat illnesses.
The Corsican Daily Sun, August 5, 2013

Heat Advisory in Effect for Houston Area- The Houston region is experiencing extreme and dangerous heat with heat indices values between 105 and 110. In response the city of Houston has opened cooling centers to help those stuck in the heat cool off with free games and water.
KTRK News, August 5, 2013

Houston Activates Emergency Plan Due to Heat- With consecutive days of heat indices values above 108 degrees, the city of Houston has activated its heat emergency plan. The plan opens cooling centers across the city and residents can call 311 for free transportation to the locations. Utility providers are also forbidden to shut off services due to no payment during these time periods.
The Houston Chronicle, Craig Hlavaty, August 6, 2013

Police Dog Dies After Harris Deputy Leaves Him in Hot Car- The Harris County Sheriffs Office is mourning the loss of a K-9 member of the squad that died of heat exhaustion after being left in a hot car. The deputy in charge of the dog, an officer for 21 years, arrived at home and left the dog in his squad car. He is now on administrative duty while investigation continues.
The Houston Chronicle, Robert Stanton, August 22, 2013

Man Suffers Heat Related Stress in Palo Duro Canyon- Authorities were called to assist a man suffering from heat illness on the Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon on Saturday. A helicopter was called to assist the man.
The Amarillo Globe News, Russell Anglin, August 31, 2013


Three Keller House-fires Blamed on Lightning- All within the same storm system, three homes caught fire after lightning struck during storms on Sunday night. Many other homes were struck by lightning with these storms which had residents and the fire department on edge until the storms ended. Hundreds in both Tarrant and Dallas counties were also without power overnight.
KTVT News, Kelli Weise, August 12, 2013

Woman Struck by Lightning in Fort Worth- Savanna Parker was washing her car with a storm close by when lighting struck her Tuesday night. Initially she seemed fine, but after a little while she began to feel numb and tight in the chest. Overall Parker will be okay, but will never wash her car in a storm again.
KDFW News, Natalie Solis, August 14, 2013

Lightning Sparks Oil Well Fire in Chambers County- The coast guard is on the scene of an oil well fire in Trinity Bay near Beach City that was caused by a lightning strike, according to the Chambers County Sheriff’s Department. The unmanned oil well platform was struck by lightning on Friday evening. There was no information about oil leaking in the bay.
KHOU News, August 16, 2013

Severe Weather

Heavy Storms Pass through Lubbock- Storms developed north of Amarillo Wednesday afternoon and pushed south into the evening hours. The storms became severe and produced strong winds and pea to golf-ball-sized hail, and one storm even caused a tornado warning to be issued, although one was never confirmed to have touched down.
KCBD News, Cutter Martin, August 15, 2013

Severe Storms Move Across Houston- A round of severe storms packed a powerful punch as they rolled through during the evening rush hour on Friday. Power at one point was out to over 100,000 customers and winds brought down trees and powerlines in The Woodlands. In Pearland traffic lights were out south of beltway 8 and tree limbs littered parking lots and streets.
KPRC News, August 16, 2013

Other Climate Impacts


Schools Fight Summer Heat so Students can Enjoy Recess- Teachers at Abilene Christian Elementary have been trained to spot the signs of heat exhaustion in their students to help prevent heat illness. Each student has their own personal water bottle to use and at anytime can ask a teacher for a sprits of water from a spray bottle that teachers are required to carry. Plenty of shade is provided for students so that recess can still be looked forward to each day.
KTXS News, Chelsea Humphrey, August 26, 2013


Tourists, Businesses Feel the Heat During Record-Breaking Days- Downtown San Antonio has been unusually empty recently due to record-breaking heat. Ashley Alcorta has not been making very much at her snow cone stand on Alamo Plaza due to the heat, and along the Riverwalk there are fewer patrons filling restaurant tables.
KENS News, Phil Anaya, August 8, 2013

Texas Sees Year’s Highest Power Demand- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported that amidst record heat across the state 91% of the available energy for the state was being used. Rolling blackouts were avoided, but that was not the case during the hottest summer on record in 2011. To preserve the grid officials say to turn off high energy appliances during peak hours and turn up the thermostat a few degrees to save energy.
KPRC News, Philip Mena, August 9, 2013

Don’t let Drought put a Crack in your Finances- After years of excessive drought conditions the soil underneath a home’s foundation can shrink and expand causing issues for the home. Costly cracks can develop, which are dangerous for the stability of the home and expensive to repair. It is best to keep watch on foundation issues and also be vigilant for businesses that may prey on homeowners fears.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram, August 13, 2013

Lake Landmark Carlos’N Charlie’s to Close- The Lake Travis landmark restaurant and bar, Carlos’N Charlie’s, is set to close after Labor Day weekend due to a 60-80% drop in business. The drop is due to the drop in Lake Travis’s waterline, preventing boats from pulling up to the docks for three years. The restaurant has been in business since 1995 and was the first U.S. location of the chain.
KXAN News, David Yeomans, August 19, 2013


Heat Related Calls Down this Summer- Overall, the summer of 2013 has been cooler than the previous few years, and thus has decreased the number of calls for heat emergencies. MedStar has responded to 144 heat related calls, 200 short of last summer, but officials still say that two months of heat are yet to come and people need to stay aware.
KTVT News, August 1, 2013

Heat Illness rising with Summer Temperatures- Outdoor workers are often closer to heat illness than they think. With summer heat barring down workers for Castillo Landscaping have to be vigilant for the symptoms of heat illness and take action quickly because once heat stroke sets in there is a 70% chance for death.
KTVT News, Susy Solis, August 2, 2013

African Dust Settles over San Antonio, Stirring Trouble- Strong winds in the Sahara have kicked up dust and pushed it into the upper atmosphere to be brought by the winds to Texas. The dust has obscured the sky and also makes those with respiratory issues more susceptible to problems. Those with asthma and other respiratory health concerns should avoid the outdoors.
KENS News, James Munoz, August 8, 2013


Wind a Constant Battle on the Coast- Lakeside fishing has been difficult recently due to strong winds that have been more out of the southwest than normal. Boaters on Lake Sabine and Calcasieu should launch in Louisiana to take advantage of the winds pushing you towards the shoreline.
The Port Arthur News, Chester Moore Jr., August 7, 2013

Hot Temps Bothering Fishermen- With the summer heat still in play fewer fishermen are heading out into the open water to battle the waves and the sun. Many are going earlier in the morning or late at night, sacrificing sleep. The fish like to stay in the shadows and in deeper waters, making open fishing more difficult.
The Herald Democrat, J.B. Webb, August 9, 2013


Groups Form to Persuade Texas Voters to Approve Water Project Fund- Members of the 83rd Legislature have to gather support from voters to pass a measure to release $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund for water resources by November 5th. The H2O4Texas campaign is led by Senators Strauss and Ritter to convince voters of the importance of the money for future resources. With the population booming and supply scarce it will be more difficult for water to get to big cities. Opposition has formed from more rural areas who do not want their water to be siphoned off for larger cities.
The Dallas Morning News, David Barer, August 2, 2013

Agencies Call on Texans to Share Accounts of how the Drought Impacted their Lives- The Texas Water Development Board, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Department of Agriculture are teaming up to see how the drought affected Texans personally. The agencies are asking for photographs of how the past few years’ drought has affected them in any way. The agencies hope that this will help educate the public on water conservation and encourage moderation in usage.
The Katy Rancher, August 6, 2013

Prison Pig Barns Cooled while Inmates, Staff Sweat- The Texas Department of Correctional Justice is being sued by many lawyers representing inmates who have died in extreme heat situations due to lack of air conditioning. This comes about in light of the TCDJ’s expense of $750,000 on cooling fans for swine raised by inmates for prison consumption. 14 inmates have died overall, mostly due to medication and heat issues, and people want to see something done about it.
The Marshall News Messenger, August 17, 2013


Football Practices Limited by Heat, New Rules- As summer crashes into football season high school teams are limited in new practices by both the summer heat and new UIL rules. Practice rules implemented now limit time to 90 minutes of full contact practice per week. Heat has coaches scheduling practices early in the morning and sometimes, as in Krum, at midnight.
KXAS News, August 5, 2013

Drought not Deterring Visitors at Pedernales Falls State Parks- Though the drought continues, attendance at Pedernales Falls State Park has increased roughly 10% from last year. Due to recent rains, water is flowing over the falls and many still trek out to Blanco County to see the falls. In 2011 the falls ran dry for several months with the drought at its peak.
KENS News, Andrew Chung, August 5, 2013

Local Marching Bands brave heat Advisory to Prepare for Season- The Sherman High School marching band has begun practices for the fall season, and continues on despite the heat. Temperatures on the middle of the concrete practice lot can approach 119 degrees and directors insist upon hydration and wearing cool clothes.
KXII News, Steven Powell, August 8, 2013

Tubing Slows as Comal Spring Runs Dry- The Comal River in New Braunfels has dropped to 124 cubic feet per second, under half what the normal flow is, and this is due to the drying up of the Comal Spring that helps feed the river. Tubing has continued, but at a much slower pace than usual. The city of New Braunfels is currently under stage 3 drought restrictions.
YNN Austin, Russell Wilde, August 22, 2013

A&M Preparing to Help Fans Beat Gameday Heat- Over 80,000 people are expected to attend the A&M v. Rice game at Kyle Field on Saturday, and with temperatures expected to rise above 100 degrees, officials are preparing for the heat. The McFerrin Athletic Center has been designated a cooling center for fans to cool off, and one liter of water is allowed to be brought into the stadium for drinking. Medics will be stationed all over the stadium to help fans who succumb to the heat.
KBTX News, Alex Lotz, August 31, 2013


S.A.’s Hot Temperatures also taking a Toll on Vehicles- Vehicles in the heat are having just as much trouble as our bodies with tires, batteries, and engines struggling. Tires are more likely to blow out during high heat, and batteries have shorter life spans in high heat. It is recommended that drivers check coolant levels, tire condition, and batteries often to avoid car trouble.
KENS News, Phil Anaya, August 9, 2013

Much-Needed Rain Creating Slippery Roads- Within five minutes of 8:56 am, five wrecks occurred south of Interstate 10 when heavy rain started to fall. Over an inch of rain was reported around Pasadena as gulf moisture poured into South Texas.
The Houston Chronicle, Carol Christian, August 10, 2013

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