Fall Rains Help With Texas Drought
LAKE MEAD NRA, NV - JULY 25: Dry cracked earth is seen near the Lake Mead Marina in an area that was once filled with water from Lake Mead July 25, 2007 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada. A seven-year drought and increased water demand spurred by explosive population growth in the Southwest has caused the water level at Lake Mead, which supplies water to Las Vegas, Arizona and Southern California, to drop over 100 feet to its lowest level since the late 1960s. The National Park Service has been forced to close boat launches, extend boat ramps and move entire marinas to try to keep up with the receding water levels. Experts fear that because the water at the lake, the largest man-made reservoir in North America, isn't being replenished as fast as it's being used, the possibility exists that it could run dry in the next 10 years. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
A week of fall rains brought major relief to parts of South Texas hardest hit by extreme drought and are improving the state's overall condition.
According to the federal drought monitor map released Thursday, about 6.8 percent of Texas, all in the southern and central parts of the state, is classified under the most extreme two categories of drought. That's down from 12.3 percent last week but higher than the 3.6 percent a year ago.
Still, the drought continues in about 34 percent of the state. Three months ago it impacted 68 percent of Texas.
Weather officials say the drought has caused more than $3.6 billion in crop and livestock losses in Texas since late 2008.
Published at 3:53 PM CDT on Oct 8, 2009
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