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Rain doesn’t quench area’s thirst

By Seth Burkett

Showers and thunderstorms brought rain to the area Wednesday but failed quench the area's rain deficit.

"Decatur got almost half an inch, but that won't bust a drought," said Steve Shumway, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Huntsville.

While spring is usually a rainy season, this spring has been an exception, he said.

So far this year, the area is short about 12 inches of its usual rainfall total. Coupled with a dry 2006, the 15-month rain deficit is about 25 inches.

A few areas, such as North-Central Morgan County, had more to drink Wednesday. Three-fourths of an inch to an inch of rain was recorded between Hartselle and Priceville.

But some areas received less.

"Everybody got a little rain here, not much," Shumway said. "For the most part, it was one-fourth of an inch to a one-half an inch across the area."

Reported amounts were as of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Similar rainfall amounts are expected Friday night and Saturday, then again Tuesday night and Wednesday, Shumway said.

However, the typical drying out of late May is approaching, leaving it doubtful that the area will recover.

Mandy Phillips, a spokeswoman for Joe Wheeler Electrical Cooperative, said weather caused two power outages. A 10:30 a.m. outage knocked out substations in Moulton, Hatton and Town Creek. The failure affected more than 1,000 people. Then at about 3:30 p.m., a tree fell on a power line in Somerville, leaving 900 without power.

Decatur Utilities and Athens Utilities reported no outages.

Shumway said the NWS issued a tornado watch but received no reports of damage.

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