First Major Rainfall in over a Month Falls in Region 8

January 10, 2006 -- Posted at 4:46 p.m. CST


GRUBBS, AR -- Tuesday's rainfall is the first significant precipitation we've had in the past thirty eight days in Region 8 but is it enough?


The lack of rain has been harmful --- creating not only dangerously dry conditions but hurting wildlife across Region 8 as well.


“A lot of our water supplies have dried up not only where water fowl can go but also other game even non game species,” said Chuck Long of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


But hopefully that will all soon change.


Many in Region 8 woke up to the welcoming sound of rainfall.  The rain means an end to fears of wildfires in the short term -- but in the long term, what effect will receiving this rain have on our ecosystem?


“It'll put some water in the fields for duck hunters, it will fill some of the streams that were dry,” said Long.


Because of our lack of rain many of the ducks that are usually here are in places like Florida and Texas.


“Everywhere there's water there's usually a hunter right now so it effects the ducks that are coming down to head further south,” said Shaun Merrell of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


What needs to happen to ensure the health of the wild life in Region 8?


“We need a lot of these rains.  We need like a good soaking rain like we've had in the day today three days from now we need it every three or four days,” said Merrell.


Our rainfall levels are down more than a foot for this time of the year


“In the long term though we need more rain, for example, we've got fish spawning season coming up this spring and we need high water for the fish to spawn.  We need water in our lakes water in our rivers,” said Long.


If we don’t get more rain what effect will that have on other wild life.  


“Our deer, our turkey's, our resident wild life won’t suffer much from a short term drought like we've been experiencing,” said Long.


The National Weather Service says more rain is predicted for later this week.  That rain would have a major impact on our environment.


“We need our rivers full, we need our creeks full we need a full water supply.  For example, Norfork Lake right now is probably at an all time low,” said Long.  


Tuesday several counties lifted burn bans.  They are Poinsett, Fulton, Randolph, Independence and Lawrence counties.