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After 60 days, rain returns to the area

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After 60 days, rain returns to the area
« on: September 13, 2006, 01:17:30 PM »

After 60 days, rain returns to the area

Web Posted: 09/06/2006 06:44 AM CDT

Vincent T. Davis
Express-News Staff

The precipitation formerly known as rain attempted to regain its identity Tuesday in South Texas.
Showers made a welcome return to the San Antonio area without causing major damage and ending a 60-day dry spell.

July 6 was the last day of significant rainfall, with 0.49 of an inch recorded at San Antonio International Airport, according to the National Weather Service.

The showers started Tuesday at about 3 a.m. without producing lightning or damaging winds. By 6:30 p.m. 1.16 inches had been reported at the airport.

"There wasn't enough rain to flood anything," said forecaster Bob Fogarty. "It's what I call a nice farmer's rain."

It was, however, more than enough to cause problems, with slick roads and highways for some motorists.

Helen L. Montoya/Express-News

A hat and an umbrella shield Jacqueline Rabago from the rain as she and family members leave the San Antonio Zoo.
As of 6:30 p.m., San Antonio police dispatchers had recorded 405 minor wrecks in the city and 64 major wrecks.
On an average day, the city sees about 180 minor accidents and six or seven major ones.

In one incident, around 4:30 p.m., an armored van filled with money rolled on a curve of westbound Interstate 10 near Roland Road. The vehicle was upside-down, police said, and a fuel leak made the front burst into flames.

Police said they transferred the money to another armored van, and no cash was lost. The driver wasn't injured either, but the right lane of I-10 was shut down for nearly two hours. At the same time, an 18-wheeler also had rolled over about a mile south, close to the Houston Street exit.

"It's been busy," Officer Ethan Humble said.

A cool front fueled by moisture from what had been Hurricane John, which was breaking up along the border of Mexico, ushered in the showers.

The wide band of rainstorms stretched into Houston, across to the border and back to the Big Bend area.

The forecast for the week calls for dry, sunny days today and Thursday, with temperatures in the high 80s. The next chance for rain will be early next week, forecaster Fogarty said.

But on Tuesday, the only concern of residents in and around the city was enjoying the long-awaited downpour.

"We're just happy as ever," said Ronnie Ottmers from his job at Allied Ag Services in Stonewall. "We didn't think it to be this good, but it was a hell of a surprise."

Ottmers said rainfall reports from across Gillespie County ranged from 1 to 2.4 inches since Monday evening.

"This didn't break our drought, but it sure gave us some hope and to survive a little better," said Ottmers, who farms small grain, corn and hay outside Stonewall. "It's going to help everybody, because there's still a potential to raise a little grass for the cattle and even possibly to make a little hay."

The change in weather put smiles on faces of folks across the parched Hill Country.

"Everybody is just happy we're finally getting some rain," said Connie Mogford, a cashier at the Hunt Store in western Kerr County. "Everybody wants more of it."

The conditions of drought-weary trees and customers alike had already improved by Tuesday afternoon, she said.

"It looks a little greener, and people seem to be in better moods," said Mogford, who logged more than an inch of rain at her home.

Staff Writers Zeke MacCormack, Lomi Kriel and Brian Chasnoff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.



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