COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)--For the first time in at least a decade, Texas was declared drought-free Thursday.
``We've gotten so much rain this year, we've pretty much made up for the past few years' drought conditions in several areas of the state,'' said John Nielsen-Gammon, the state's climatologist and a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.
Only isolated areas in the northern Panhandle, far West Texas and along the eastern margins of the state are below normal when it comes to rainfall, and they're aren't so dry to be considered in still in a drought, he said.
There's been so much rain, in fact, that flooding has become a problem in some areas, and many farmers are struggling to salvage crops that remain under water, Nielsen-Gammon said. At least 16 deaths have been blamed on heavy rain since mid-June, and property damage has been widespread.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, connected with the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, shows severe or extreme drought conditions in parts of the Southeast and much of the West, but Texas and most of the nation's mid-section is drought-free.