Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
Rain forced Clarke Mosquito Spraying to stop early in the aerial fight against mosquitoes. Only about 50,000 acres were sprayed out of the estimated 100,000 that should have been hit due to overnight rain. Aerial spraying will continue Friday night.
Rain forced aerial spraying for mosquitoes to stop early overnight on Friday, with the company doing the work treating an area roughly half of what had been planned.
Laura McGowan, with Clarke Mosquito Spraying, told NBC 5 that two airplanes took off from Dallas Executive Airport in Oak Cliff around 10 p.m. Thursday and began spraying less than 15 minutes later.
Aerial spraying has been said to be the most effective way to kill mosquitoes that carry the deadly West Nile virus. The virus has been blamed for at least 10 deaths in Dallas County and more than 200 people have been sickened. Those numbers represent the highest concentration in the entire country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
McGowan said that by midnight a rain system moved into the spray area, causing a delay. Both planes landed back at the airport and the weather system was watched until 2 a.m. when a decision was made to postpone the mission until Friday night, McGowan said.
A total of 52,352 acres was sprayed of the 100,845 acre planned area, McGowan said.
Weather permitting, when the planes take to the skies Friday night they will have reinforcements. Two additional planes arrived at Dallas Executive Airport around 12:30 a.m. from Louisiana where they had been doing similar work.