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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, October 13, 2003

Weekend rains hit Trans-Pecos, Big Bend areas

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., Oct. 13, 2003 -- Heavy rains hit areas of the Trans-Pecos over the weekend, dumping as much as four inches of rain in some spots between Friday night and Sunday.

Rainfall inside Pecos wasn't as much as in outlying areas, but the severe thunderstorm that passed just north of town Friday night was enough to cause a one-hour delay in the Pecos High School 2003 homecoming game against the Kermit Yellowjackets. Showers began just before the announcement of the 2003 homecoming queen, and while the rain let up after about 10 minutes the teams remained off the field for another 45 minutes, due to the threat of lightning from the storm that built up west of town and then slowly moved just north of the city.

More showers arrived in the area late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The precipitation was generated from upper-level disturbances moving in from Baja California, and caused heavier rains to the south, in the Big Bend area, and down along the Rio Grande towards Laredo and the Brownsville area.

KIUN radio reported receiving only 1.1 inches of rain over the weekend, though that still represented about 20 percent of the city's rainfall so far in 2003. After receiving just above the average annual rainfall of 10.99 inches in 2002 - the first above-average total in a decade - the city has gotten just 5.75 inches of rain during the first 101/2 months of 2003, according to KIUN's figures.

To the west of Pecos, the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station reported receiving 3.5 inches of rain this weekend, according to Mike Murphy, Senior Research Associate for the Experiment Station.

"I got 2.2 inches at my house on Duval Road," he added. "Most of it came either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

"It really rained west of town. There was water coming down the Duval Road (FM 2119), and there was still water coming down the bar ditch on the Duval Road this morning," Murphy said.

"We need the rain, but it's a little too late to really help the cotton farmers," he added.

To the east of Pecos, Gail Fritter with Coyanosa Co-Op said they didn't have an exact figure for the weekend rain, but estimated that two to four inches fell around the area. She added that the area north of Fort Stockton received four inches, while KFST on the south side of town received 2.3 inches.

Over in Balmorhea, weekend rainfall totals was put at 3.3 inches. The Balmorhea area has gotten more rain in recent months than in the Pecos area, with heavy showers both during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend this summer.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Pecos area Friday night, while flash flood warnings were in place for most of the weekend for Pecos, Brewster, Presidio and Terrell counties to the south.

In the lower Rio Grande Valley, state highway officials said U.S. 281 and other roads remained closed this morning, and at least one death was blamed on weekend flooding.

Felipe Padron, standing barefoot in knee-deep waters, scooped up debris from the floodwaters as they slowly spiraled down a storm drain.

"It's going down really slowly," Padron told The Brownsville Herald in Monday's editions. "If we don't do it, we'll drown."

Padron and his neighbors spent hours trying to keep streets draining and flood waters from seeping into their homes. Cars elsewhere in Brownsville stalled in the middle of city streets and their drivers were left stranded or were rescued from low-lying areas.

On Sunday, thunderstorms pounded much of deep South Texas, with rainfall in excess of 7 inches causing flooding in some areas, the National Weather Service said.

Monica Mendoza barely had time to escape, a daughter under each arm, as water entered her trailer home and she joined six neighboring families that were flooded out in the Rio Grande Valley.

Among the worst-hit counties were Brooks, Hidalgo and Starr, said Tim Speece, a NWS forecaster in Brownsville.

Between two and four inches of rain fell across parts of Brownsville from noon and 3 p.m. Sunday, with isolated areas receiving four to six inches.

The heavy rains were blamed for at least one death. A woman died Sunday from injuries suffered in a traffic accident Saturday afternoon on a rain-slickened highway in New Braunfels. Two other women were critically injured.

Museum hosts Friday bake sale

PECOS, Mon., Oct. 13, 2003 -- Friends of the Museum will be sponsoring a Bake Sale beginning at 9:30 a.m., Friday, at the West of the Pecos Museum, First and Cedar Streets.

Delicious baked goods will be for sale and all proceeds will go towards the museum.


PECOS, Mon., Oct. 13, 2003 -- High Sunday 78. Low this morning 54. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 55. West winds 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 70. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 50. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs near 80. Light and variable winds becoming southwest near 10 mph in the afternoon. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Thursday: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Lows in the mid 50s.


Maria Hernandez and Karen White

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