Big storms don't do much for drought

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Tuesday night storm, coming on the heels of a storm on Monday, knocked out power to thousands of homes in East Texas.

As of 8 a.m., 1,500 homes in Lufkin and 1,200 homes in Nacogdoches are without power, according to Oncor spokesman David Collier.

Kennard ISD is delaying the start of school until 10 a.m., as lack of electricity and down trees is delaying buses from making routes.

Pineywoods Academy closed school at 10 a.m., due to a power failure. Parents are asked to come pick up their children.

East Texas should be spared from severe weather Wednesday night, with a cool front moving in.

The storms put on a good light show. It brought pounding rain in some parts and barely enough to dampen the rain guage in others.

"In some areas, I've heard as much as six-tenths of an inch and I've heard other areas two to three inches," said Texas Agrilife Agent Chad Gulley.

The Agrilife extension agent first gets his information directly from the producers.

"North side of town had less than a quarter of an inch," produce grower George Millard said. "You see, you get on up in Appleby, in there, I understand they had none. Mt. Enterprise got none."

Then a wider check is done through the drought monitor.

"Right here is Nacogdoches County and we're in the red and parts of the purple," Gulley said. "We're in an extreme, almost exceptional drought, as of Tuesday."

It all adds up to East Texas needing more rain.

"We usually get 50-55 inches of rain, so we're half of normal from last year and we're already behind this year, so it's not a drought breaker,' Gulley said.

Feed stores are selling range cubes to ranchers short on grass. Fertilizer sales are picking up, but more rain is needed to water it in. Then there are all those wind gusts. It brought down a heavy tree limb on a car in Nacogdoches. It's sucking the moisture right out of gardens.

"Never really experienced anything just like the weather we've had, at least I have in 79 years," Millard said.

For now Millard can see fruits of his labor, but knows more work is ahead. Many partial yield patches must be replanted.

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