The Garden City Telegram
8/5/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Rainy day

Inconveniences aside, rain brings reason to celebrate.

In a region desperate for rain, the recent deluge helped quench some of the thirst.

A storm last Wednesday delivered rainfall in astounding amounts, with heavy rain to include more than 4 inches in some parts.

The downpour that came in a short time swamped lawns and flooded streets and basements. Traffic was halted in some places, and local crews were left to help residents clean up the mess from rain and 60-mph winds that damaged and uprooted trees.

As inconvenient as it may have been for some, the rain was cause for celebration. With this part of Kansas battling extreme drought — and crops dying in the fields — every drop of precipitation is needed.

Of course, the recent rain wasn't a drought-buster.

Southwest Kansas needs a lot more moisture. Even last week's gully-washer of a rain wasn't enough to turn the tide on drought unwilling to loosen its grip.

Wednesday's rainfall did push the year-to-date precipitation in Garden City to more than 5 inches for the year, but the annual total remains well short of the normal precipitation for this point in the year.

Still, it's easy to see how such a rain could at least lift the spirits of folks from the farm to the city, where retailers know any good news for farmers helps make cash registers sing.

When it comes to economic prosperity, local officials spend significant time on ways to encourage success stories. They have some control of the outcome thanks to incentives and other strategies used to create jobs and energize the economy.

Farmers, however, remain more at the mercy of uncontrollable circumstances.

While farmers' expertise helps lead to harvests needed to feed the world, their operations too often fall prey to unpredictable and volatile weather. Drought, extreme heat and hail usually are the culprits.

Unfortunately, the recent heavy rain missed some nearby communities and farms. At least the region has more chances with rain in the forecast this week.

Every bit of moisture, after all, can make a difference in an area that will take it in any way, shape or form.