Thursday, September 13, 2007

Doing the Rain Dance

It is known that North Carolina tends to be hot, humid and dry. But this year we are suffering what some people say may very well be "the drought of record". Rainfall in the Raleigh/Durham area is 10 to 15 inches below normal for the year. Other than a few drops (literally) here and there we haven't had significant rain since June/Beginning of July.

Water bans and restrictions are being put in place all over. In the beginning of August Fuquay Varina (my town) was placed on a voluntary water ban. As of August 30 we are on a mandatory one. These restrictions include no washing cars or boats and only watering from midnight to 9 am on Wednesday's. Other towns have even harsher restrictions. And the fines for violating are pretty hefty.

I know some of you are thinking so what? Your cars go dirty and your plants die. But honestly that isn't the issue. The ramifications are being felt everywhere. The biggest concern was stated on this morning's news:

Water levels in Falls Lake, the city's primary reservoir, are dropping by a foot every 10 to 12 days. Raleigh and the other municipalities that buy water from the city have enough water to last until about Jan. 20.

So what happens after January 20? Right now officials are not sure. Lucky for me, my town gets water from a different source. But frankly if it doesn't rain soon there will be the same issue everywhere.

Obviously the farmers are suffering. Their crops are crap. Livestock owners are having to go elsewhere to find feed. There has been boating accidents due to dangerous docks and sudden drops in water levels causing boats to hit objects that are normally hidden. The lake that cools the nuclear plant is so low that an impact on cooling is a big concern. Power plants are having to reduce their hydroelectric power output, in some places, as much as 30 - 45 percent.

There is no real rain in the forecast for the next 10 days. A few days have a 30 percent chance of scattered showers, however that is what has been listed for the past 3 months. It's not looking good. And October and November are traditionally dry months in North Carolina, and the La NiƱa weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean means the region likely will get even less rain this winter than normal. The drought could easily extend into next year.

I don't understand nature sometimes. Texas right now is getting hit by another hurricane. Parts of Texas have been experiencing floods and an overwhelming rainfall amount this year. The Midwest suffered floods a few weeks ago. Same with parts of California. And yet we, and a few other Southern states, are bone dry.

I'm just crossing my fingers and toes that it rains –– alot –– soon.


Deborah said...

gosh, I had no idea that was going on. I sort of assumed all of the East Coast had the same weather, more or less (give or take some degrees), and we've had a decent amount of rain her throughout the summer. I hope things turn around soon down there.

LiLi said...

As long as it rains down there and not 3 hours north this weekend, I'm cool with your rain dance! We have an outdoor wedding this weekend and Maegan is the flower girl. I'd like that to be over with before we get a deluge! However, I agree WE NEED SOME RAIN!!!

I'm wondering how you guys missed the big rains in mid-August? We had some big storms, but we really haven't had rain since then.

Jennifer said...

Here in Cowan, TN we are 19in' below we need rain too...but this last hurricane may be brining us some..not holding my breath though...

it's me, Val said...

Oh wow, this sucks. It was because of two very major droughts that we had to sell our farm :( That was the first most horrible experience in my life. It was for my dad . . . my entire family . . too. Droughts really can be tremendously horrible for farmers. To get a really bad yield means no money and a farmer waits all year long for that one-time pay check! Makes me so sad because I've been there and see the ramification first-hand. Makes me want to cry for them. I'm praying for rain.

P.S. I personally don't think there's a better more hard-working person out there than a farmer. And their jobs are sooooo hit and miss. They work so hard and then basically get a huge slap in the face for something they have no control over. Just tears me up! Anyway, sorry about this. I seriously will pray!