Drought eased, but not gone after rains

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Recent rains brought some relief to the dry grounds of the lake area this week, but southwest Louisiana is still below the rainfall average according to experts.

More than two inches of rain have fallen in the Lake Charles metro in the last two days. But the lake area is still left 10 inches below average for this time of year.

"We went through almost a month without rain and very high temperatures," said Robert Turley, a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter in Lake Charles.

The small amount of rainfall has forced crops and plants to evaporate every inch of rainfall to get back to normal.

"The plants are 'over dry' and they're using water to go up through the leaves to keep cool," Turley said.

LSU AgCenter officials added that too much rain too fast can be harmful to plants if the rain continues.

"If it rains practically everyday for weeks, then we get cloudy weather and we get plants that are water logged," Turley said. "Other issues we might have are root problems and foliage diseases."

Sam Ivey has been gardening for three years in Lake Charles. The gardener said he almost did not recognize his lawn after four days of rain.

"Just in the last four days I've seen the grass start coming back because of the rain," Ivey said. "The water that comes out of the ground is not the same as the water that comes from the heavens."

While the rain has brightened up his vegetable garden, Ivey hopes the rain will be more sporadic than continuous in the next couple of weeks.

"The four days that we've had will not fix it," Ivey said. "Hopefully we'll start having some rain on occasion and not so long."

All five parishes in southwest Louisiana have seen the affects that recent rains will have on their plants.

Parishes with flat wood lands in Beauregard Parish are more tolerant to the rainfall than the prairie lands of Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, and Acadia parishes.