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Unlike with previous months, the story in September was ample precipitation. Much of the state received above-normal precipitation, helping bring the statewide reservoir storage to around 60% of conservation storage. This is notable because, for the first time since late January, statewide reservoirs are not setting daily records for low storage but are merely tying them. Overall, rains kept the temperatures down for most of the month and allowed for drought conditions to improve. Reservoirs and soil moisture have rebounded nicely, as evidenced by Llano reducing their water usage restrictions from 3 to 2, but stories of record low lake levels are still common across the state. New reservoir plans are still being carried out, such as the proposed Lake Ralph Hall, a 12,000-acre lake in Fannin County.

Towards the later half of the month, extreme rainfall caused flooding in Houston, Austin, Tyler, Corpus Christi, and all the cities in between. The heavy rains from the weekend of the 19th and 20th forced low water crossings to close all across Central. The weekend of the 28th and 29th brought torrential rain to many parts of the state washing outs roads such as CR 477 in Lindale, and canceling events such as the Texas Red’s Festival Concerts in Bryan. The biggest flooding event of the month occurred in El Paso on the 10th and 11th, when heavy rains overwhelmed the city’s drainage system in many areas flooding homes and even shutting down the westbound lanes of Interstate 10. Multiple tankers were struck by lightning, causing explosions and damage to the surrounding areas, and hundreds of motorists required rescue from high water.

The early month still had its usual bouts with heat, affecting football players and fans with heat related illnesses and fatigue. Conditions prior to the major rain events were dry enough that wildfires were sparked in central Texas multiple times. Lake Buchanan hit its all time low water mark earlier this month and communities that receive most of their business from lakeside tourism, such as Ridge Harbor, are hurting with lack of business, prompting Governor Perry to sign a proclamation stating that the drought is an imminent threat to Central Texas.
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