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Wet summer has brought drought relief, flooding, extra yard work

Oklahoma City has had nearly double its average rainfall for the period from Jan. 1 through mid-August, outpacing traditionally wet cities like Miami and Seattle.
BY BRYAN DEAN Staff Writer Modified: August 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm •  Published: August 15, 2013

Oklahoma City has had more rain this year than traditionally wet cities like Miami and Seattle — nearly double the average amount through mid-August.

The rain and accompanying cooler temperatures have been welcomed by many after two straight sweltering and dry summers, but it's not without drawbacks.

Some residents have had a hard time keeping up with mowing, and torrential downpours have brought flooding that has caused millions of dollars in damage.

Flooding causes damage

At this time last year, much of the state was in the midst of extreme drought, including Oklahoma City. Gary McManus, of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, said it has rained somewhere in Oklahoma every day since July 12.

The rain has brought relief from the drought. Oklahoma City was subject to mandatory water rationing last summer, but with more than 40 inches of rain thus far in 2013, city lakes are full and water is plentiful.

But the city also suffered major flood damage after a May 31 storm that brought more than 10 inches of rain in one night.

Several city buildings were flooded. The worst damage was in the city's technology building at 100 N Walker Ave., which has been closed since the flood.

“I've never walked into a building and seen that much water,” city spokesman Zach Nash said. “It was up to the ceiling in the basement. You couldn't walk down the stairwell. Not only was it water, there was mud and debris. It was very shocking.”

City Clerk Frances Kersey said the damage estimate for city buildings other than 100 N Walker is $7.5 million. Insurance will cover damage to the technology building, but the city will have to pay a $1.25 million deductible.

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