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Heavy rains through Texas last week caused flooding, particularly in the Dallas area, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to issue a disaster declaration for 23 affected counties. Texans who were affected by the rain, which dumped more than 10 inches in Dallas, are encouraged to file insurance claims with their providers and to complete the voluntary Self Reporting Damage Survey issued by the Texas Department of Emergency Management by visiting damage.tdem.texas.gov. The survey helps the state identify damage across Texas to gain an understanding of what areas were affected during the recent severe weather.
Counties included in the disaster declaration are Camp, Culberson, Dallas, Duval, Ellis, El Paso, Henderson, Hopkins, Hudspeth, Kaufman, Kerr, Live Oak, Marion, Montague, Navarro, Pecos, Rains, Smith, Tarrant, Upshur, Van Zandt, Webb and Wood. Additional counties could be added as damage is assessed.
Burn bans lifted; fire danger drops
The heavy rains across a chunk of the state have reduced the wildfire risk, with the Texas A&M Forest Service for the first time in months not responding to any active wildfires. The number of counties with burn bans has dropped to 166. At its high point, 224 counties in the state were under burn bans.
The number of counties under extreme or exceptional drought has dropped as well. The percentage of Texas in the “exceptional drought” category dropped by more than half to 12.4%, according to kut.org.
Conditions heating up for dove season
An especially scorching summer might make it trickier for dove hunters with the season opening just around the corner.
“Hunters will likely see larger concentrations of birds at watering holes and food sources than they have in the past due to limited resources,” said Owen Fitzsimmons with Texas Parks & Wildlife. “Agriculture production has been hit hard by drought so birds may be more reliant on native foods this September. Look for stands of common sunflower, croton and other native annual forbs and grasses.”
In general, dove season begins on Sept. 1, depending on the geographic zone. Go to the TPW website at tpwd.texas.gov for specific dates.
COVID-19 cases, deaths drop slightly
The number of documented COVID-19 cases during the past week in Texas dropped again, with 53,874 reported along with 192 deaths, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. That number is almost certainly underreported with the prevalence of home tests, whose results are not usually included, according to numerous health officials.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 2,733 lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations, down about 10% from the previous week.