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Burn Bans

County-wide burn bans through August 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, July 2, 2013
U.S. Drought Monitor, July 30, 2013

Residents Celebrate Rain; Area Needs Much More- Many people sat and enjoyed the summer afternoon thunderstorms that pushed across the city. Rainfall varied from half an inch to over 2 inches, but much more is needed to escape the drought. Typically from March to June, Victoria sees between 15 and 20 inches of rain, but this year only 3 have fallen.
The Victoria Advocate, Caty Hirst, July 7, 2013

Drought Takes Toll on Cooper Lake- Down 10 feet and at only 46% capacity, Cooper Lake is suffering in the drought. Two of the three boat ramps on the lake are closed and this is keeping many recreationists away, impacting local businesses that thrive on the lakeside business.
KXII News, Matthew Boyd, July 15, 2013

Latest Drought Monitor Update Shows Deepening Houston Drought- Despite recent rains, drought conditions across the Houston Metropolitan area are not improving. The region is split between severe and Extreme drought designations, but compared to 2011 the region is still faring well.
KPRC News, Eric Braate, July 19, 2013

Drought Conditions Improve in West Texas- The recent rains have encouraged the U.S. Drought Monitor to upgrade their forecast for the borderlands to include drought improvement. The same is not for the rest of Texas with 99% of the state listed under drought.
KTSM News, Keagan Harsha, July 26, 2013

Houston Drought- The drought of 2011 is still fresh on the minds of Houstonians as the skies begin to dry up again. The record 2011 drought claimed over half of the trees in the Houston Arboretum and many trees in Memorial Park, and now the drought is making a comeback trees and lawns are beginning to change again. Though not as bad as in other areas of the state, the drought in Houston is forcing people and animals to change their habits.
KRIV News, Kristine Galvan, July 26, 2013

County Needing More Rain- Hunt County needs more rain to get out of drought conditions. Based on the current drought update, the county ranges from severe drought in the south to moderate in the north, but all of the region needs more rain. The Keetch-Byram Drought index reports that over 8 inches of rain are needed to return soil moisture levels to normal, and Lake Tawakoni is down six feet, warranting Greenville to start stage 2 water restrictions.
The Greenville Herald Banner, Brad Kellar, July 27, 2013

Water Supply

Victoria Officials Enact Second Phase of Drought Plan- The Guadalupe River has fallen below a critical stage of 300 cubic feet per second, triggering required stage 2 water restrictions. These restrictions will limit outdoor watering and possibly incur a $500 fine for violation. If the river goes back above this level and stays there for over 14 days then the restrictions will return to stage 1.
The Victoria Advocate, Melissa Crowe, July 2, 2013

Drought Could Prompt Tighter Water Restrictions- Austin Water Utilities is currently under a stage 2 water restriction which limits outdoor watering, car washes, and restaurants in the service area. If the drought continues to worsen and Lake Travis continues its nose dive downward, stage 3 water restrictions may be inevitable.
KTBC News, Lauren Petrowski, July 5, 2013

Isle Braces for Heightened Water Restrictions- With the drought continuing Galveston may be required to increase from stage 2 to 3 drought restrictions to help conserve water. Officials are urging citizens and businesses to conserve water.
The Galveston Daily News, John Wayne Ferguson, July 5, 2013

Texas Towns Tightening Water Restrictions- Nearly 1,000 communities across Texas are facing water restrictions and those are expected to increase as the drought continues. Cedar Park is considering cutting outdoor watering in half while Pflugerville, which is dependent on the new Lake Pflugerville, is fighting water usage with warnings, education, and usage fines.
YNN Austin, Dan Robertson, July 11, 2013

Local City Implements Severe Water Restrictions- The city of Marlin, Texas has implemented stage 4 water restrictions after a senior rights holder along the Brazos River basin called for water priorities giving them more access to the source. The restrictions ban landscape watering, pool filling, car wash operations between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and carry a hefty $500 fine for violation.
KWTX News, July 13, 2013

Reclaimed Water Projects Expected to Help with Water Conservation- After the success of the University of Texas’s reclaimed water program, the city of Austin is planning to expand the program to Auditorium shores where it will be used to irrigate new landscaping. Over time the city hopes to reuse 8.5 billion gallons of water per year.
KXAN News, Sophia Beausoleil, July 16, 2013

Lake Palestine to Be Tapped to Supply Water to Dallas- It came as a surprise for many living and working along the Lake Palestine shoreline that a $2.3 billion pipeline project with Dallas and Tarrant regional water utilities was already underway to drain water from Lake Palestine. The project will begin using water in the year 2030 and may be exclusively for use in the Dallas area.
KLTV News, Summer Dashe, July 18, 2013

As Drought Worsens, Lakes Near Austin Dry Up- Both Lakes Travis and Buchanan are approaching the 30% capacity level—a record low. This low level is requiring historic water restrictions for Austin and many blame the LCRA for continuing to release water to rice farmers downstream. The lakes were created in the 1930s after rice farmers were guaranteed that they would continue receiving water for their crops, so even in the drought rice farmers will still continue to receive water.
Midland Reporter-Telegram, July 21, 2013


Top Notch Training- Twenty-four firefighters from across Montgomery came to New Waverly to participate in wildfire safety and management training over the weekend. The firefighters train to fight wildfires across the state of Texas and are part of an elite group that is the most prepared to fight the blazes.
The Huntsville Item, July 14, 2013

Origin of Stubborn Grass Fire was Saturday Lightning Strike- Firefighters battled a blaze both on Monday and Tuesday after a lightning strike spawned a fire. The wildfire burnt up 272 acres total and did approach a home near FM 2571 and Copeland drive in Smithville. The fire caused the evacuation of 37 Smithville residents and the loss of power for 236 homes after power lines burnt.
The Austin American Statesman, Ricardo Gandara, July 30, 2013

Agricultural Impacts

Texas Drought Leads to Authorization of Haying in Conservation Reserve Program Land- The US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has approved the haying of Conservation Reserve Program acres in 197 Texas counties. These land areas will be harvested to help out livestock in severely drought stricken areas across the state.
The Cypress Creek Mirror, July 6, 2013

Strange Weather Patterns Lead to ‘Best Harvest Yet’ in ETX- The mixture of frequent rainfall and just enough sunshine has created the perfect conditions for East Texas vineyard owners. The rainfall has been just enough to help grow the crop without spoiling it, and ample sunshine will give the grapes, and thus the wine, a great flavor this season.
KLTV News, Laura Sadler, July 17, 2013

Multimillion-Dollar’ Rains Save Crops but Barely Budge Drought- Rare mid-July rainfall may have saved the cotton and corn crop across Texas when between one and ten inches of rain fell on the whole state. The ground was so dry that the rains did very little to replenish reservoirs and all but Lake Cisco did not fill appreciably. Though the drought saved crops and farmers’ pocketbooks, the drought still reigns supreme with 99% of the state still abnormally dry.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Steve Campbell, July 25, 2013

Inclement Weather


Flash Flood Warning Still in Effect, More Rain Expected- El Paso is currently under a flash flood warning as rain continues to fall with .30 inches of rain fallen already. The Carlsbad Caverns area has received over 3 inches of rain and Carlsbad Caverns National Park has delayed opening until 10 a.m.
The El Paso Times, Aaron Martinez, July 18, 2013

Solution Sought for Jail Flooding- After last week’s heavy rains, poor drainage and design of Hale County’s Jail must be addressed. Over 6 inches of rain left water pooling on the flat roof of the building and sent water pouring into the structure leaving two inches of standing water on the lower level. Two inmates had to be relocated and issues in the building have now become a top priority.
The Plainview Herald, Doug McDonough, July 22, 2013

Flooding Hits Area During Downpour- Parts of the Texas Panhandle received over 2 inches of rainfall while quick moving thunderstorms crossed the area. The highest amounts of rain were recorded near Buffalo Lake, which radar estimates place at over 2.5 inches.
The Amarillo Globe News, Amanda Castro-Crist, Ricky Treon, July 24, 2013

EPWU: We’re Working to Fix Drainage Problems in Flooded West El Paso Neighborhoods- The last rainstorm dropped more than three inches of rainfall on El Paso in a few hours and caused flooding in some west El Paso neighborhoods. The flooding was due to poor drainage in the area because of an incomplete drainage pipe in the area. The project is being worked on, but in the meantime those in the region are left mopping up the mess.
KTSM News, Anoushah Rasta, July 24, 2013


Triple-Digit Temperatures Return to North Texas- After being blessed with cooler than normal July temperatures, the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the DFW Metroplex over the next few days as the heat returns. Experts warn that the elderly and children should be very careful in the heat and stay cool.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Domingo Ramirez Jr., July 31, 2013


Emergency Responders Take Part in Hurricane Drill- Members of 54 agencies took part in a mock hurricane drill in south Houston to better prepare for a landfalling hurricane on the Texas coast. The drill was the largest in five years for the city and took place all morning.
KPRC News, Courtney Gilmore, July 24, 2013


Lightning Sparks House Fire in SW Lubbock- A house fire in the 4400 block of 79th street was caused by a lightning strike shortly after 4 a.m. The blaze spread from a tree to the roof of the house which collapsed into the building.
KCBD News, July 4, 2013

Lightning Strike Causes Fire- At around 4 p.m. an oil well outside Giddings was struck by lightning and caught fire. The fire spread and burnt 50 bales of hay nearby until the fire was put out by the Gidding’s Fire Department.
KBTX News, July 21, 2013

Lightning Blamed for 3 Overnight Fires- Overnight storms rolled through the Austin area and are believed to have sparked three house fires across the city due to lightning strikes. All homes suffered substantial damage with the loss coming to $260,000.
YNN Austin, July 27, 2013

Severe Weather

Storm Brings Lightning, Rain, and Hail to Borderland- With the ground already saturated from earlier rains, the borderland was ripe for flooding from another storm. Overnight that storm rolled through and brought localized flooding to the streets of El Paso and causing over 5,000 to lose power.
KTSM News, Cathy Hernandez, July 25, 2013

Other Climate Impacts

Animals/Aquatic Life

Too Hot to Trot?- Horse drawn carriages are a usual sight in downtown San Antonio, but after planned protests from animal rights activists the city council is proposing to limit horse hours in the summer heat. The city council will vote to reduce the number of hours a horse can work per day from 10 to 8 and consider other suggestions for improving the lives of these working horses.
KENS News, Mayra Moreno, July 31, 2013


City of Round Rock: Collect Rain Water, Get Paid- The city of Round Rock is offering an incentive for residents to install rain barrels to collect rain runoff from their homes. For every gallon of water saved 50 cents will be earned up to $250 per year. This is good for water conservation as well as protection for homes from erosion.
KVUE News, Andrew Chung, July 10, 2013

Water Well Business Booming in Wichita Falls- Business for George Berre’s well drilling is booming ever since the city of Wichita Falls implemented stage 3 water restrictions. The wells, which cost $3000, tap into the Seymor Aquifer and do not place the owner on any water restrictions, which helps the owners keep their lawns green.
KFDX News, Mechell Dixon, July 12, 2013

Jeff Co. Wants to Use BP Funds for Dune Restoration- Nearly five years after Hurricane Ike swept away much of the protective dunes along Jefferson County’s shoreline, a plan has been put in motion to get funds from the BP oil disaster reparations to restore the shore. Money would be spent on an artificial reef, a lookout area, and on rebuilding efforts for the most vulnerable areas of the shoreline.
The Beaumont Enterprise, Sarah Moore, July 13, 2013

Panhandle Rain Puts Damper on Local Tourism- Though rain is good for the drought, some businesses in Amarillo do not like to see the rain. Wonderland in Amarillo is a seasonal business and is forced to close on rainy days making them miss out on tourists. Museums and surprisingly Palo Duro Canyon do not see the same effects from poor weather like other outdoor venues.
KFDA News, July 17, 2013


Rain Water Collection Could Give Rise to Mosquitos- When the rain started falling in Wichita Falls many started to fill up whatever they could with the valuable resource, but health experts warn that stagnant water could breed mosquitos. The collected water can be the perfect nesting ground for mosquito larvae and these mosquitos can carry the deadly West Nile disease. It is best to drain standing water in containers or keep water moving.
KFDX News, Mechell Dixon, July 15, 2013

City Workers Taking Precautions to Prevent Heat Stroke- Summer heat combined with high humidity creates a dangerous situation for those working outside. To help fight against heat related illnesses the city of College Station OSHA has created an app that will calculate the heat index and show you the risk level for that situation.
KBTX News, Alex Lotz, July 27, 2013


Dead Trees become Big Problem at River Bend Nature Center- The River bend Nature Center has seen an overall loss of nearly 10% of their trees and have had to spend extra money on their removal. The dead trees are due to the continuing drought and the pests that thrive on vulnerable trees during this time. Dead trees are not only an eyesore, but are dangerous with the risk of falling on a hikers too much for employees to ignore.
KAUZ News, Tanya De Jesus, July 31, 2013


Perry Renews Drought Disaster for Much of Texas- On Friday Governor Rick Perry renewed a drought disaster declaration for many parts of the state including Dallas and Austin. The declaration frees up emergency funding to help people most affected by the drought.
KTBC News, July 15, 2013

Water Leak Persists in Buchanan Lake Village- Even after filing reports with the TCEQ a leak in small town Buchanan Lake Village’s water tank continues. The tank was reported by residents as a waster of water in this extreme drought and as a health concern for mosquitos. The TCEQ looked into the matter and said it was compliant but another leak was spotted again and more work is yet to be done.
KXAN News, Ignacio Garcia, July 22, 2013


‘Freedom over Texas’ Event-Goers Brave Heat and Rain- The massive fourth of July event in Houston featuring Martina McBride and Sheryl Crowe drew and estimated 155,000 people to the celebration. Rain began to fall at around 7:00 pm sending many people home, but the event continued as scheduled once the rain stopped.
KHOU News, Drew Karedes, July 4, 2013

Weekend Eventful for Local Authorities- The Bandera RiverFest took place this year on one of the hottest weekends to date and heat is to blame for at least six EMS calls for heat stroke.
The Bandera Bulletin, Jessica Hawley-Jerome, July 5, 2013

Splash Pad Delay?- The anticipated opening of the Athens splash pad may be delayed due to drought conditions. The new splash pad will use about 36,000 gallons of water per day and if no good rain falls between now and August the city council may vote to delay the opening to conserve water.
The Athens Daily Review, Jayson Larson, July 10, 2013

Fans Brave Heat to Rally for Newest Rocket- Dwight Howard was welcomed to the Toyota Center by hundreds of fans in the summer heat. Fans arrived early to see the newest star player and gulped down thousands of water bottles collectively and began cheering the double meaning phrase “beat the heat.”
KRIV News, Kristine Galvan, July 13, 2013

Participants, Spectators Beat the Heat as Games of Texas Begin- The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Summer Games of Texas began in Corpus Christi with the summer heat beating down. As temperatures hover in the upper 90s, all those participating are sure to stay cool and hydrated throughout the games with plenty of water, electrolytes, and shade.
KIII News, July 25, 2013


High Water Slows Morning Commute on East Freeway- In less than 24 hours areas of East Houston received over 4 inches of rain causing minor street flooding. The East Freeway near Cedar Lane was seen to have standing water on the roadway and water was above the roadway on JFK Boulevard near the airport.
KHOU News, July 17, 2013

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