Rain, rain, rain

Published 5:54 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sunday, August 5, was the first rain-free day in Tyrrell County in over two weeks.

Rain fell in showers and thunderstorms each and every day from July 24 through August 4.

The excessive precipitation caused many local crabbers to haul their pots out of Albemarle Sound, because “dead water” is killing crabs in pots or chasing them away from the bottom, said Willy Phillips of Full Circle Crab Co. in Columbia.

The dead water is a combination of too much saltwater near the bottom and nutrient overload from agricultural surface water runoff brought on by the recent rainy period.

How much rain fell?

Ty Fleming, administrator-technician for the Tyrrell County Soil & Water Conservation Board, furnished stats for the weather station at the Soil & Water office on L.A. Keiser Drive in Columbia.

Rain fell 13 out of 18 days, July 20 to August 6, totaling 11.14 inches.

Fleming then explained that one inch of rainwater on one acre of ground equals 27,154 gallons. Multiply that by 11.14 inches during the rainy spell and it produces 302,495 gallons on one acre.

He also said the land mass of Tyrrell County is 380,160 acres, and he projected that if each acre got the same amount of rain that fell at the Soil & Water office the total would be just under 115 billion gallons of water.

For comparison, Fleming pointed out that there are approximately 27 billion gallons of water in Lake Phelps.

Angela Gibbs, Tyrrell Extension ag agent, reported that her rain gauge in Engelhard recorded 19 inches, not counting Saturday, August 4.

As Fleming commented, “So yeah, we had a lot of water drop in a short time.”