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Rain makes a dent

October 18, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Two significant rainstorms in the last week pushed the rainfall in the area just above normal for October, marking the second month in a row the region has had better-than-average rainfall.

A storm pushing its way up the East Coast was responsible for the 1.52 inches of rain dumped on Waynesboro, Pa., Wednesday, weather observer Todd Toth said.

Almost 2 inches of rain fell over Chambersburg's reservoirs, said Bruce McNew, assistant water and sewer superintendent for the borough.

Wednesday's rains added to the 2 inches that fell last Friday.

"They were nice, soaking rains, especially the first one," Toth said. "It was heavy at times, but not too heavy that it ran off."


Toth said the weather center at Waynesboro Area Senior High School has recorded 3.5 inches of rainfall so far this month, slightly above the October average of 3.4 inches.

Last month's 4.82 inches was more than an inch above normal, he said.

"If I remember right, that is the first two surplus months in about 18 months," Toth said.

But the region is still 5.55 inches below normal rainfall for the year, Toth said, and the drought is not over.

"The last two storms brought up the reservoir significantly to 3 feet 5 inches below the spillway, and it is rising at this point," S. Leiter Pryor, head of public utilities for Waynesboro, said Thursday.

"We're not out of the woods, but it definitely helped," he said. "That was exactly what we are looking for - extended rain events and, hopefully, snow this winter to recharge the ground water this spring."

Chambersburg's Long Pine Reservoir rose 3 inches on Wednesday, bringing it up to 14.3 feet below the spillway, McNew said.

He said he expects the feeder streams will continue to flow and increase the water level in the reservoir.

"The feeder streams have picked up considerably," he said. "Both rains were very good soaking rains, and that's the best rain we can get to benefit ground water."

Franklin County has been under a drought emergency since February, and only a month ago officials were concerned the parched conditions were going to make September one of the driest on record.

Rainfall in the second half of the month eased the situation.

Sporadic rain throughout the spring and summer at times filled local reservoirs, although the ground water has remained low.

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