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Rain welcome in Central Louisiana, but more is needed

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Written by
Warren Hayes



Central Louisiana residents rejoiced Tuesday after thunderstorms dropped much-needed rain throughout the area, but that enjoyment may be short-lived.

Jonathan Brazzell, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Lake Charles, said Rapides Parish this year has been in one of its worst droughts on record. Prior to rain received on Monday and Tuesday, Alexandria had only received 0.03 of an inch of rain in June.

Rapides Parish is 18.23 inches behind in what should be its average rainfall total for this time of year, Brazzell said.


“From January 1 to Monday, the average rainfall this time of year is supposed to be 30.35 inches. From January 1 to Monday of this year, the rainfall is at 12.12 inches,” Brazzell said. “There was 0.12 inches of rain on Monday and Tuesday (at 1:10 p.m.) 2.21 inches of rain. (Today) will have a 70 percent chance of rain, with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-70s. Thursday will have a 20 percent chance of rain.”


But Brazzell said there’s no chance of rain on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and that high temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-90s for that period. Lows should be in the mid-70s, he said.


Tuesday’s storms, in addition to keeping the high temperatures in the upper 70s, began in the morning hours and led to high water on some streets as well as to downed power lines and limbs.


Cleco spokeswoman Robbyn Cooper said power outages were reported throughout Central Louisiana.


As of 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, “we had 350 customers without power,” she said. “The outages were reported in Alexandria, Pineville, Ball, Pollock, Deville and Elmer. The outages were due to lightning strikes and (tree) limbs falling on power lines. We expect to have all power restored (Tuesday).”


Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Maj. Jerome Hopewell said the Sheriff’s Office received no reports of accidents or injuries due to the storm.


Alexandria Police Sgt. Clifford Gatlin, a public information officer, said some Alexandria streets had high water Tuesday.


“The intersections of Lee (Street) and Broadway (Avenue) and intersections of Dallas (Avenue) and Broadway (Avenue) had high
water,” Gatlin said. “One car was stranded in those areas, but no one was hurt. If a person can’t see a street because of water, then that person should not try to drive on the street.”


Pineville Police Capt. Greg Henley said a few trees fell on Pineville streets.


“We had trees fall on Martin Avenue and Cummins Street. No one was hurt,” Henley said.


Brazzell said the best type of rainfall for the areas to receive is a slow, steady rainfall.


LSU AgCenter county agent Matt Martin said that would help save some crops for local farmers who have suffered due to the drought.


“Corn, soybean and sugar cane are some the crops grown this time of year. The drought has deeply hurt corn growth,” Martin said. “Farmers have been irrigating corn already. Rice farmers, who live in Cheneyville, are irrigating from wells. Farmers who live close to water sources use Bayou Boeuf for irrigation.


“A slow rain over a long period of time will help farmers because it gives the water a chance to soak into the ground better.”



Written by demon53

June 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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