Drier weather for Texas and Oklahoma

New month, new weather as the southern states of the US finally get some respite from the rain.

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    Parts of  Texas were inundated by floods turning highways into rivers that swept away bridges, cars and homes [EPA]
    Parts of Texas were inundated by floods turning highways into rivers that swept away bridges, cars and homes [EPA]

    This time last month, a forecast of dry weather would have been bad news for Texas and Oklahoma.

    Now that the recent long-term drought has well and truly ended, the sodden soils of the Southern Plains will finally get a break from the nagging rains.

    At least 30 people have died in the floods and 10 still remain missing.

    The worst of the storms are now over as the worst of the weather heads towards the Eastern Seaboard.

    The week ahead is expected to be largely dry for much of the south, and not before time.

    This May has seen rainfall records smashed by the heavy and steady rains.

    It has become the wettest month on record in the statewide averages across the area. Texas had a total rainfall of 192mm, surpassing the 169mm amassed in June 2004.

    Meanwhile, Oklahoma was drenched by 367mm of rain. The previous monthly record was 273mm, set way back in October 1941.

    Drier weather moved in during Sunday, and as the waters began to recede, emergency management officials we able to turn their attention towards cleaning up.

    The rivers remain engorged and forecasters have warned that the flooding is likely to last for weeks. The devastation is considerable. The damage in Houston alone is estimated to be around $45m.

     Veronica Beyer, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation announced that preliminary assessments show that there is about $27m in damage to the transportation system.

     About 155 state roads remain closed and over 65 per cent of Texas counties have sustained damage to the roads and bridges.

    Beyer said: "We want people to keep in mind that this has been a historic national disaster of epic proportions."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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