Rain, rain, glorious rain!
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
Photo by Shiloh R. Edwards
Photographers couldn't resist the unusual sight of a rise on the Medina River this week.
Nearly every corner of Bandera County received welcome rainfall for Memorial Day weekend. Light traces of precipitation began falling as early as Wednesday, May 21, according to CoCoRaHS volunteers' reports, and continued through Tuesday morning, May 27.
The welcome break in the current long-term drought brought lots of people out the Bandera City Park to look at the rushing currents and rising river level. It was the social event of the year!
Volunteers with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow network report daily rainfall for each 24 hour period. Anyone can access their website and pull up the maps of the county to see where the rain fell and how much.
The weekend of rainfall was the result of a stalled front over the region, combined with an upper air storm system moving east very slowly. A lot of moist Gulf air brought in by south to southeasterly winds helped add to the creation of thunderstorms.
Bandera County was under a flash flood warning Sunday evening and again on Monday as the heaviest storms of the period moved across the area.
The good folks out in Utopia toted up some of the highest totals with six to eight inches recorded in a couple of locations in the far west end of the county. Feather Wilson, Courier Tarpley columnist, reported 6.71 inches at his weather station as of Monday noon.
A resident of Medina reported neighbors claiming at least four inches total and as much as eight inches in some areas.
A CoCoRaHS site on 470 near Schmidtke Road collected 4.88 inches, another four and one-quarter inches was marked just off of Highway 16 South about halfway between Bandera and Pipe Creek, and a location about halfway down 1283 reported over four and a quarter inches during the period. A site just south of the intersection of 1283 and PR 37 noted a big 5.70 inches Tuesday morning as a total for the previous 24 hours.
The USGS gauge on the Medina River on Patterson Street in Medina rose from four feet on May 24 to 10.25 feet on Monday morning, May 26. The gauge at Bandera City Park measured 6.76 feet Monday morning, but had hit as high as 8.5 feet during the night. It was at less than three feet on May 24 before the rains began to fall.
Medina Lake level rose from -91.33 feet on Monday to -88.26 feet Tuesday, a rise of 3.07 feet. As runoff moves downstream, those levels should continue to rise throughout the week.
Bandera County road and bridge department reported a few road closures but no major flood damage as of Tuesday morning.
Lightning and storm damage included some electrical outages and damage to Bandera Electric Cooperative's system Sunday and Monday.
According to BEC Communications Specialist Brianna Goodloe, "Since the evening of May 25 through approximately 8:30 am May 27, 986 members experienced an outage on our system. The majority of the outages on the system involved only one member and lasted 1-5 hours. Some outages were shorter with only a handful of members and lasted under an hour. Others were larger, involving 14-66 members and lasted an average of 3.6 hours."
The cooperative's largest outage occurred in the Boerne area and affected 607 members. "It began just before 11 pm on May 25 and crews had service restored at 8:37 am on Monday. Lines were broken due to the conditions. Members are being served from other routes until the line can be repaired."
City Marshal Charlie Hicks reported a pleasantly quiet weekend despite the parade, rodeo and rain. "We didn't have to arrest anybody and we didn't get many calls related to the rain, so it was a remarkably good Memorial Day weekend for us," he said.