SAN ANTONIO – This week’s storms brought up to five inches of rain to parts of South Texas and affected everything from the aquifer to allergy season.
Starting with the good news, the Edwards Aquifer will see a big spike. News 4 WOAI’s StormTracker 4 meteorologists predict it will rise about ten feet.
All that rain recharging the aquifer means farmers, gardeners and homeowners alike get a break from watering the lawn.
"So hopefully as much of this rain that gets in the aquifer can stay there for some time,” Roland Ruiz with the Edwards Aquifer Authority says.
He has a word of caution, though: if we’re not careful, Mother Nature’s gift could go down the drain – fast.
"It's not necessarily a drought buster,” Ruiz says. “We're still in drought and it's going to take more sustained rains just like this one to really break the drought cycle."
But how about the allergy cycle? A lot of people are suffering like Lewis Thorne.
"I'm always glad when cedar finally blows out of here,” he says during a doctor’s appointment.
His allergist, Dr. Paul Ratner, says patients like Thorne won’t catch a break because the rain only prevents pollen from becoming airborne during the actual storm.
"What happens then, though, is once the pollen dries out and the conditions change to some degree, and the winds kick up again, the pollen counts will increase,” Dr. Ratner says.
So the rain, and the winds that follow, are a fuel for pollen.
And they’re potentially a fuel for fire, too.
Firefighters expect the winds to keep picking up the next few days and are asking the public to be careful with cigarettes, barbeques and any kind of outdoor fire.
Longer term, the rain could actually make their jobs harder.
"I look at rain differently because I see it as making more grass,” Cpt. Guy Duncan with the San Antonio Fire Department says.
He says more grass is not necessarily a good thing for firefighters because a year from now, when that grass dies, it will ignite very easily.
"So later down the road we'll have bigger grass fires and brush fires,” Cpt. Duncan says.