Local News

Weekend Rain Brings Raleigh Above Normal Rainfall

Posted September 5, 1999

— The recent rain has increased the supply of water throughout our drought-stricken area, but it has not completely satisfied the demand.

The drought of 1999 could not have come at a worse time for homeowner Martin Bonus, but the rains could not have been timed any better.

"I'm selling my house right now, and I want nothing more than everything to look lush and green," says Martin Bonus.

The eight inches of rain the Triangle area received this holiday weekend spoiled Bonus' water skiing plans, but they sure perked up his yard.

"A week ago this whole lawn was brown and look at it now. It hasn't been cut in a week; it's almost five inches tall."

All the rain in the Triangle has brought Falls Lake up four and a half feet in the past three days.

"We certainly always need to conserve the resources that we have," says Falls Lake Operations Manager Tom Freeman. "Water is a very precious resource. But it does get us out of the woods right now out here at the lake."

The people who run Falls Lake say it would have been hard to get the lake levels up without such a huge rainfall.

"Over the last months the ground has become very dry and packed, and we've gotten a saturating rain and then a runoff off of that," says Freeman. "That's what it takes to get these reservoirs filled up and up to capacity."

But that same runoff means even though the area is now above normal rainfall, it is still in a drought situation.

So Martin Bonus wants that rain to keep on coming. "I still have some brown patches and stuff. I mean we definitely need the rain," says Bonus.

Officials at Falls Lake say Jordan Lake has risen seven feet. Lake Jordan supplies several communities, including Cary. Cary says its water problem is being caused by a lack of capacity at its water plant, so its water restrictions will remain in place.

Just a few weeks ago, Raleigh officials sent out postcards urging residents to conserve the city's main water supply as well.

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