The mood felt upbeat inside Debbie’s Restaurant last Saturday morning. Around the tables and between bites of scrambled eggs and sips of coffee, customers couldn’t contain their enthusiasm about the rain.
“What’s that stuff falling from the sky?” one regular customer kidded another.
“I don’t know,” his friend responded, “but it sure makes me happy.”
A few tables away, Alan Steele, who manages the Engstrom Ranch that caught on fire in xx and kept smoldering for weeks, said the last flames and smoke were seen 13 days ago.
“I’m hoping this rain will put it out for good,” he said.
Others were celebrating quietly around town. People came out of their self-imposed exiles from the worst heat wave in decades and sat on their porches, opened their front doors and even stood out in the rain, savoring the moisture. Everything seemed to breathe again - without air conditioning.
Beneath the Paluxy River bridge on State Highway 144 just south of the square, stretches of what used to be mud resembled cracked elephant skin. But behind the ruin of the old stone dam near The Inn on the River, pools of water had collected in places. It was beginning to resemble a river again.
The Opossum Hollow weather station in Glen Rose recorded 1.19 inches of rain on Saturday.
The break from the heat and bone dry weather didn’t last long. By mid-week temperatures returned to above the century mark.
Somervell County remains under a burn ban. The county’s Commissioners Court last week voted to extend the 90-day burn ban. Even with the recent rain, the area remains under severe drought conditions.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index continues to place Somervell County in its highest red area with an index rating between 700 and 800.