Rainfall proving helpful amidst Indiana drought


Several days of rainfall were a welcome sight here in Central Indiana, but is it really helping?

According to the National Weather Service, rainfall totals over the last seven days range from a tenth of an inch to four inches. The heavier rain that fell in the north is helping recharge the water supply for Citizens Water customers in Indianapolis.

Even Morse and Geist Reservoirs are seeing the benefits of the rain along with mandatory water restrictions. Morse was down six feet on Wednesday. On Friday morning, the reservoir's water level improved by more than a quarter of an inch. Geist was down a little more than two feet on Wednesday. Now it's under two feet below normal.

Inches of rainfall can mean millions of gallons of water. For our lawns, gardens and flowers, experts said any rainfall is better than none at all, but Central Indiana has a long way to go before getting back to normal.

"There's definitely some plus sides a little bit of rainfall would help any irrigation that homeowners are doing help that moisture to penetrate more deeply,” said Steve Mayer with the Purdue Extension in Marion County. “As far as getting trees to come back it may take somewhere in the range of four to six inches of rain and even then it's gonna take time for them to produce a response it might be three to four weeks."

Mayer also said the clouds and cooler temperatures have also helped keep that moisture in the ground longer. Indianapolis sits at more than eight inches below normal for rainfall. The mandatory water restrictions remain in effect.

Click here for more information from the Purdue Extension on your plants, flowers and trees.

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