Nearly 2.2 inches of rain were recorded in Duncan between Monday and Tuesday morning, and the precipitation will have an impact on the Stephens County Conservation District.
How much? That’s the question.
Robbie Bowles, Conservation District manager, said the recent rains are helping to undo some of the negative effects created by last year’s drought.
“It’s surely welcomed,” Bowles said. “It sure helped fill some of the ponds up.”
As of Tuesday, The Banner had recorded a rainfall of 7.07 inches since Jan. 1. At the same time in 2011, only 1.63 inches of rain had been recorded.
Bowles said the county needs a wet season to help replenish the necessary moisture to soil and grasses. The recent rains are contributing to that end. “We were in a drought too long to pull out of it with one rain. (But) it sure helped,” he said. “We definitely need to fill the sub-soil back up with moisture.”
Some parts of the county didn’t get as dry as others during the 2011 drought, but the rain from Monday is helping to bring a balance to the overall soil and pond conditions throughout the county.
A year ago, some ponds remained mostly full, while others dried out as a result of the drought. Bowles said people can expect the dried out ponds to take some time to refill.
“They’ll fill up, but the water will seep out into the surrounding areas,” Bowles said. “Once the area is saturated, then the ponds will fill up.”
Aside from ponds, Bowles said there is a concern about the grasses in the county. Because of the lack of rain, some of the foliage has died off. Bowles said the current rainy season will reveal which grasses will make a full recovery.
The grasses will start to make a come back once the sub-soil gets its needed moisture. Still, Bowled noted, “I don’t know how much of the grasses we’ve lost.”
He said as long as the rain continues in some regularity, the ponds and grasses should start moving in a positive direction. Personally, he has seen the benefits of the recent rains. The ponds on Bowles property are back to being at or close to full capacity.
Area lakes have also been a concern, again being traced to the drought. At present, many of the lakes are well below capacity. But if things continue the way the week began, the lakes make be able to regain some of their lost inches.
“Hopefully, we’ll get the lakes back up,” Bowles said. “This will help to put some of the water storage back.”
According to the Weather Channel’s website, rain and the possibility of thunderstorms are expected for the next few days. Bowles said the precipitation is a much-needed change from last year’s extensive dry season.
“It’s sure making people smile,” he said. “Overall, this is a good thing.”