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Burn Bans/Drought/Fire/Water Supply

County-wide burn bans through December 1


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, November 1, 2011
U.S. Drought Monitor, November 29, 2011

November 6 - The onset of fall and recent rainfall has allowed League City and Galveston to take a chance to relax the water restriction in place since the end of summer. The vote will allow citizens to water lawns and wash car in daylight rather than in the allotted time between 10pm and 6am. Recent rains have also added two months to the water supply of the region with above warning level water available until at least the end of the year.
Chris Paschenko, Galveston Daily News, November 6, 2011.

November 16 - The drought may be worse than expected as 75 percent of the state is still listed under exceptional drought status. Due to recent rains Hays County lifted the burn ban, which had been in effect for the past year. State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon says that the drought may last into next summer as La Nina sets into another round.
Karen Zamora, The University Star (Texas State), November 16, 2011.

November 30 - Experts are now warning that the current drought may reach into next year with the onset of another La Nina cycle in the Pacific Ocean. State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon says that this scenario is very similar to that of the 1950's when a 2 year La Nina cycle was followed by a 3 year La Nina cycle.
Kate Galraith, The Texas Tribune, November 30, 2011.


November 4 - After a terrible fire weather year in Texas with nearly 4 million acres of the state burned The Texas Forestry Association recognized the hundreds of volunteer firefighters that helped battle the blazes. East Texas has since seen a lull in the fires, but burn bans still remain in effect for much of East Texas.
Steve Knight, The Lufkin News, November 4, 2011.

November 12 - The Texas fire season officially ended on Tuesday November 15th and it went down in the record books as one of the most severe. Almost 4 million acres burned, along with 2,909 homes, and 10 fatalities. Over $500 million in damages were reported from the fires and the Texas Forestry Service is expected to be in a $150-160 million budget shortfall. The year was the perfect storm for fires due to the excess of vegetation from wet 2010 and the complete lack of rainfall, high heat and winds through the drought of 2011.
Steve Campbell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 12, 2011.

November 18 - With all of the possible tinder out there for fires to consume many are suggesting controlled burns to eliminate it. Although the burns are good at preventing fires they need to be monitored constantly during the burn.
Alexis Spears, KTRE News (Lufkin/Nacogdoches), November 18, 2011.

Water Supply

November 1 - The North Texas Municipal Water District implemented stage 3 water restrictions and although this severely limits the use of water for lawns it has had some benefits in finding and fixing lawn irrigation problems. The Frisco Public Works department stated that stage 4 water restrictions are expected for this spring.
Brad Watson, WFAA News (Dallas/Fort Worth), November 1, 2011.

November 5 - The city of Brenham saw an increase in the revenue from water utility usage due to water conservation from the citizens. Overall a $540,000 surplus was recorded this year, which will be used if there is a dawn year in the future.
Allison P. Smith, Brenham Banner-Press, November 5, 2011.

November 9 - Lake Texana has been reduced to 50% capacity as the drought wears on forcing the LNRA to implement Level 1 water restrictions on the service area. Corpus Christi, which is the main user of the water in the lake, has already decreased usage by 40%. Overall the lake level is 11 feet below normal.
Jennifer Preyss, Victoria Advocate, November 9, 2011.

November 11 - As the drought is expected to last into the spring, the LCRA met to discuss conservation and water restriction plans for the betterment of the community and the extension of the resource.
Taylor Short, Community Impact (Lake Travis), November 11, 2011.

November 13 - This extreme drought has many legislators and conservationists alike wondering where the water for Texas will come from considering the population boom expected in the next half century. The most valuable water resource in the state is the Trinity River, which supplies Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston's drinking water. The river has already been tapped to its capacity so plans for other resource sites are in session and are controversial. What is clear is that conservation and recycling must take priority.
Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle, November 13, 2011.

November 16 - Due to the continuing drought the TCEQ had to inform junior water rights holders on the Neches River that their water rights would soon be suspended due to low supply. This will not affect the water supply for cities or what are considered senior water rights holders. With experts saying that the drought may last other cutbacks may also be necessary.
Steve Knight, Lufkin News, November 16, 2011.

November 19 - Fort Parker Lake and the Navasota River are nearly dry leaving the city of Groesbeck with only a few days of water left if a pipeline is not finished in time. Stage 3 water restrictions are in place in the city but the harsh summer heat did more to lap up the water than the cities consumption.
Tony Freemantle, San Antonio Express-News, November 19, 2011.

November 20 - The lakes around the CPS plants near San Antonio were created in the 1960's after historic droughts to reduce the consumption of water from the Edwards Aquifer. As the current drought lingers it may leave power plants across the state without water to cool the generators resulting in possible rolling blackouts during the summer.
Tracey Idell Hamilton, San Antonio Express-News, November 20, 2011.

November 22 - Rains fell overnight and raised the level of the Navasota River by two inches, buying the city of Groesbeck three weeks to find a solution for bringing water to the city. Current plans have a pipeline built through Fort Parker State Park bringing water to the city.
Allison Ignacio, KWTX News (Waco), November 22, 2011.

Agricultural Impacts

November 1 - The drought this year, as well as the hard freezes of last winter has severely cut the pecan crop this year leaving many growers without a crop. Across the state, pecan growers have decided to prune the trees way back to help them survive the harsh conditions as well as try to produce a crop next year.
Steve Linscomb, WOAI News (San Antonio), November 1, 2011.

November 3 - The pumpkin crop this year may have dropped by nearly 50% due to the excessive heat of the summer as well as Hurricane Irene on the East Coast. This has caused the price per pound of pumpkins to double from last year to this year.
Judy Zavalla, Alvin Sun Advertiser, November 3, 2011.

November 8 - The recent rains have given farmers hope for the end of this historic drought, but they still remain realistic. The needed moisture content in the ground is about 10 inches for crop growth but farmers estimate the levels to be at about 3 to 4 inches. The drought has caused many farmers to sell of cattle leading to an expected price spike in 2013, and many have also stopped tilling the ground to help preserve the moisture content of the soil.
Hanaba Welch, Times Record News (Wichita Falls), November 8, 2011.

November 15 - The drought of 2011 has severely hurt the cattle industry with many herders being forced to sell off their herds. What makes this drought different is the inability to grow wheat or hay, which costs ranchers even more money to order it in from out of state. If this drought continues many ranchers will be left without a herd hurting the industry from producer to the dinner table.
Betty Taylor, Comal County Business Journal, November 15, 2011.

November 23 - Recent rains have given farmers hope as they take to the fields to plant winter wheat in hopes that the winter will be wet enough to offset the summer drought. Everyone is still very nervous though due to the predictions of the continuation of the drought as well as the drop in the price of wheat.
Hanaba Welch, Times Record News (Wichita Falls), November 23, 2011.

November 23 - The dryland cotton crop this year has suffered in the drought and less than 20% of the normal cotton crop is expected to come in this year. Overall farmers are happy that this tough season is over.
Jerry Lackey, San Angelo Standard Times, November 23, 2011.

November 23 - Turkey raisers have had a tough time in this year's drought with the lack of food combined with the exploits of starving predators cutting down the flock. This raises the cost of raising the birds leading to lower profits or in a price hike for customers.
Ciara O'Rourke, Austin American-Statesman, November 23, 2011.

Inclement Weather

November 3 - A strong cold-front blew thought the Dallas area overnight on Wednesday November 2, bringing strong winds that caused thousands of power outages within the Dallas Metro area with Oncor reporting 3,800 outages.
NBC-DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth), November 3, 2011.

November 28 - With the lack of rain and the high winds experienced from cold fronts West Texans are expecting big dust storms this winter if the lack of rain persists. The combination of the bare land from the droughts and subsequent wildfires leaves plenty to be scraped up by the strong north winds. Many people are comparing the upcoming season to another Dust Bowl.
Geena Martinez, KWES News (Midland), November 28, 2011.


November 15 - Tuesday night an upper-level storm system dropped 1.41 inches of rain in Huntsville causing flash flooding which inundated Bearkat Boulevard stranding one motorist in the flood as she attempted to cross the flooded road.
Matt Weintritt, The Huntsville Item, November 15, 2011.


November 8 - Lightning was the apparent cause of an oil fire in Wise County on November 8th. The lightning caused a fire in the oil drum and then caused an explosion to occur sending shrapnel flying.
Terry Evans, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 8, 2011.

November 23 - At 12:15 pm in South Abilene lightning struck a mesquite tree and ripped it to pieces sending parts of it flying up to 100 feet away.
Denise Biaz, Abilene Reporter News, November 23, 2011.

Extreme Cold/ Winter Weather

November 3 - A strong cold front prompted the National Weather Service to issue a freeze warning for the San Antonio area, as the first freeze of the winter was expected to come overnight.
Ana Ley, San Antonio Express-News, November 3, 2011.

November 26 - A cold front which blew into North Texas on Saturday dropped temperatures into the 40s quickly and by nightfall wind chills were recorded between 18 and 23 degrees with stiff Northwest winds blowing at up to 50 mph wrecking havoc on High School football games.
Kathy Vetter, Forth Worth Star-Telegram, November 26, 2011.

Severe Weather

November 7 - The Permian basin was hit by large storms, which dropped dime sized hail on Tuesday morning. Overall 0.17 inches of rain were recorded at Midland International Airport.
Albert Cesare, Odessa American, November 7, 2011.

November 8 - Strong storms moved through the Houston area on November 8 bringing as much as 3 inches of rain to some parts of the region as well as 2 confirmed tornadoes. One tornado touched down in Humble before moving northeast, while another near Moss Hill, with overall damage from the storms reported as minor.
Gene Norman, KHOU News (Houston), November 8, 2011.

November 15 - A house fire was caused due to a lighting strike overnight in Dripping Springs, while several car accidents were also blamed on the severe weather.
Clara O'Rourke, Austin American-Statesman, November 15, 2011.

November 15 - Severe weather moved through the San Antonio area during the morning rush hour causing over 11,000 power outages and spawning a funnel cloud between Nixon and Smiley. The city saw nearly a half an inch of rain with places just to the north seeing over 1.4 inches of rain.
Eva Ruth Moravec, San Antonio Express-News, November 15, 2011.

Other Climate Impacts

November 5 - The drought has caused water levels to drop all over the state exposing many historical sites that were once completely submerged. This comes as both a blessing, and a curse, for on one hand this allows for new insights into Texas history, but on the other allows for potential looters to destroy precious artifacts.
Allan Turner, Houston Chronicle, November 5, 2011.

November 9 - As a cold front arrived on Wednesday in Longview homeless shelters began to fill up quickly and demand for beds and hot meals rose. This was an anticipated part of winter's arrival, but the need for volunteers and coats are still needed as over 160 people are expected over the winter.
Abby Broyles, KYTX News (Tyler/Longview), November 9, 2011.

November 22 - The famous Aggie bonfire will not burn again this year due to the burn ban in Robertson County, even though this is the last meeting of the two rival teams which the bonfire represents.
Terrence Henry, KUT Austin, November 22, 2011.

November 22 - The town of Old Bluffton, which was submerged in the damming of the Colorado in 1937, has made another appearance as the water levels of Lake Buchanan have dropped over 30 feet. This has allowed historian and just curious visitors to stop in and see the remains of this old town.
Jacqueline Ingles, KXAN News (Austin), November 22, 2011.

November 30 - Lutherans in the Midwest have begun to donate bales of hay to needy farmers in Central and North Texas due to the excessive drought conditions. This has come as a Godsend for farmers who have had to make choices on whether or not to completely sell off their herds. The decision to donate hay came after a church-wide assembly in Orlando where the church decided to contribute to the relief efforts.
Brenham Banner Press, November 30, 2011.

Air/Water Quality

November 5 - Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin was characterized by dry conditions with thick blowing dust over the weekend of the 5th and the 6th. Many people used bandanas and other articles of clothing to cover their faces to protect from the dust.
Peter Mongillo, Austin American-Statesman, November 5, 2011.

November 6 - Water quality across the state has started to decrease as the drought persists, with lower water levels leading to higher concentrations of chemicals in the water. People have now begun to notice a difference in the tap water as salience increases and more chemicals are needed to help treat water that is stagnant in many places. This also affects aquatic life as fish are beginning to die off in area lakes and streams.
Lara Lapin, The Texas Tribune, November 6, 2011.

November 6 - The persistent drought across the state has caused a drop in the pollination of many allergy-producing plants. This in effect has led to relief for many allergy sufferers across the state. Although many places have seen recent rains it is just too late for many of the plants to bloom, but weeds on the other hand have started to bloom, just not in the normal numbers.
Rose Thayer, Killeen Daily Herald, November 6, 2011.

Animals/ Aquatic Life

November 2 - Migrating waterfowl, ducks and geese will have a hard time settling in Texas on their way south this year as the drought has dried up many of the swamps and wetlands which are their usual stopping grounds. Although Texas is hurting for these birds, farther north the population is booming allowing for a fantastic hunting season for those places in Texas lucky enough to still have available habitat for the migrating birds to settle in. Otherwise the birds may pass over Texas altogether or use the inundated Mississippi Valley as a stopover.
Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, November 2, 2011.

November 3 - The San Marcos River is one of the most ecologically diverse ecosystems in the southwest, and the recent drought has been hurting the many endangered specie, which live along its banks and in the aquifer. This has led to many rescue operations for the species to save them from extinction and allow them to reproduce.
Aaron Lugo, The University Star (Texas State), November 3, 2011.

November 4 - The drought has caused many animals to seek habitat within city limits leading to dangers for them. In order to help relieve the pain on some animals due to injuries in the city and other health related problems due to the drought A to Z Veterinary Clinic will open its door to help nurse wildlife back to health.
Nick Lawton, KWES News (Midland), November 4, 2011.

November 14 - Monarchs migrating south to Mexico will have a hard year this year as the drought has laid the normal fattening grounds to waste and left very little nectar for the butterflies to eat. Experts say that the insects are very enduring and will survive this drought as they have in the past.
Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, November 14, 2011.

November 17 - Recent rains are driving deer to the sides of roads as water collects in the ditches due to runoff. This has caused an increase in the number of deer collisions, yet is expected as the drought has made living conditions tougher for the deer in the wild.
Matt Ledesma, Times Record News (Wichita Falls), November 17, 2011.

The drought may be the cause for an increase in black bear sightings across Southwest Texas. The lack of food may be causing the bears to come closer to places traditionally too dangerous for them due to the presence of humans.
Becca Nelson Sankey, San Angelo Standard Times, November 20, 2011.


November 2 - The 2011 drought has already cost the state approximately $5.2 billion dollars, but many expect that the drought may, by the time it is over, cost the state over $20 billion in economic losses. This has many including policy makers tinkering with the idea of water supply reconstruction and reform, which may cost the state $53 billion plus.
Enrique Rangel, Amarillo Globe News, November 2, 2011.

November 2 - If the current drought continues mandatory water restrictions may be placed on the city of Marble Falls possibly costing the city $400,000 in water utility tax money. This would be due to the Lower Colorado River Authority implementing water restrictions on the area under its control.
Raymond Whelan, River Cities Daily Tribune, November 2, 2011.

November 8 - After years of discussion and arguments over drought management of the Edwards Aquifer an agreement was finally reached when the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program voted 24-1 to support a single plan. This plan would charge fees with water consumption in droughts and place limits on total withdrawals from the aquifer. The San Antonio Water Supply expects an increase of $3.13 per customer due to the fees but that could be decreased due to contributions from downstream users such as DOW Chemical and CPS Energy.
Colin McDonald, San Antonio Express-News, November 8, 2011.

November 9 - With the drought plaguing East Texas the timber industry has suffered millions in losses with the death of many trees and the many wildfires, which claimed thousands of acres of forest. Loss estimates put trees lost in fires at $97 million, which resulted in an estimated $3.4 billion economic loss for East Texas.
Vanesa Brashier, Eastex Advocate, November 9, 2011.

November 14 - The drop in income for the farmer has resulted in a drop in business for companies that cater to farmers and ranchers. The only agriculture industry that seems to be thriving in the drought is the feed business, which has capitalized on the misfortune of many ranchers.
John Honore, KSAT News (San Antonio), November 14, 2011.

November 16 - The drought is causing many homes to shift and have foundation problems due to the dry soils and high heat experienced over the summer, which leaves foundation repair companies busy and homeowners out big bucks.
Bill Barajas, KRGV News (Weslaco), November 16, 2011.

November 23 - Although the drought of this year has been terrible it is actually the drought of 2009 that is has affected this seasons Christmas tree crop. Many trees are not nearly as tall or as full as in years past so that is hurting the bottom line of Christmas Tree farmers in the state. Though the trees aren't as tall as usual there are still plenty to go around.
Laura Skelding, Austin American-Statesman, November 23, 2011.


November 7 - The long dormant summer combined with the cool temperatures and light rains now have many trees blooming out of season. All around Austin Bradford Pears and Redbuds are blooming in the spring-like weather conditions, but some say that it is still stress induced on a last ditch effort to repopulate and get some seeds out.
Benjamin Wermund, Austin American-Statesman, November 7, 2011.

November 10 - Fall foliage change will occur three to four weeks later than usual due to the drought and the colors will not be as bright. The trees are overall going to be entering survival mode through the winter as they try to conserve energy and remain alive.
Jamey Boyum, KLTV News (Tyler/Longview), November 10, 2011.

November 20 - The city of Kingwood, famously known as the livable forest, has been undergoing a change of scenery as the drought has killed of many trees. Over 3,800 trees have been marked as in need of removal across the city with more expected to go.
Sonia Azad, KTRK News (Houston), November 20, 2011.


The deer-hunting season this year will be good nevertheless of the drought due to the efforts of many ranchers in keeping deer well fed. In places where ranchers could not afford to feed the deer there was a large dip in the population as deer starved and fawns were abandoned in the search for food. This may cause a drop in the future for the deer population, but for now the hunting should still be very good.
Jacqueline Ingles, KXAN News (Austin), November 2, 2011.

November 5 - Higher salinity levels in lake Sabine due to decreased freshwater flow in the drought have caused an increase in the number of exotic fish catches. This makes for more interesting fishing for Texas anglers out in traditionally freshwater territory.
Sarah Moore, Beaumont Enterprise, November 5, 2011.

November 12 - The limited amount of watering ground for ducks and waterfowl have given south Texan hunters the best season in a long time as many are raving about the number of ducks on the water. This may be due to the lack of watering ground farther north allowing for a higher concentration of migrating birds in certain areas across Texas.
Bink Grimes, Victoria Advocate, November 12, 2011.

November 19 - Although this has been a tough year for many fishermen, crappie anglers are excited for the season due to near perfect conditions. The shallow water leaves few places for the fish to be so chances for a catch are good.
Art Chapman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, November 19, 2011.


November 1 - This year overall state park visitation has dropped by 25% with water-based parks seeing even higher drops in visitors. Overall this leaves the Texas Parks and wildlife department in a 20% drop in revenue hurting the state's ability to keep the parks maintained and well staffed.
Tim Eaton, Austin American-Statesman, November 1, 2011.

November 13 - The UIL State Cross Country meet in Round Rock was hampered by strong winds and blowing dust with many competitors finishing well below their normal pace.
Nick Talbot, Killeen Daily Herald, November 13, 2011.

November 13 - An island deemed Sometimes Island due to its appearance only in droughts, has reappeared. However, because of the severity of the drought it is no longer an island but a piece of a peninsula jutting out into Lake Travis.
Farzad Mashhood, Austin American-Statesman, November 13, 2011.

November 16 - Kid Fish Day on December 3rd may not happen this year if the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department deems that there is simply not enough water for the fish to live in. This will prevent the release of the 500-1,000 bass into the Medina River for the festival.
James Taylor, Bandera Bulletin, November 16, 2011.


November 8 - It has been quite a while since Van Zandt County has seen rain, and that is what police are blaming for the increase in automobile accidents in the area. There have been 30 accidents reported in Tyler alone, one involving an 18-wheeler on Interstate 20.
Courtney Friedman, KYTX News (Tyler/Longview), November 8, 2011.

November 8 - Weather conditions are blamed for the death of a woman from Groom on November 8 near the Carson County line. The woman lost control of her car on Interstate 40 and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Travis Ruiz, KVII News (Amarillo), November 8, 2011.

November 8 - The excessive heat and drought have caused roads to crack and buckle under the shifting soils in Montgomery County. Estimates are that to completely repair the problems in the county costs could range as much as $3-4 million, but only $1.2 million in the budget. This allows for only minor repair work to get done making sure that all of the roads are still drivable.
Nicklaus Lovelady, Houston Chronicle, November 8, 2011.

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