By Raymond Billy

Last summer was a dry one for Cherokee County. Many found the heat and humidity unbearable.

So far this summer, the opposite has proven true. According to the National Weather Service’s Shreveport office, more than 4.5 inches of rain have fallen in Jacksonville as of June 26, and that figure excludes several days that have yet to be logged in the NWS data bank.

Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell said that the high volume of rain this month has presented some challenges for parts of the county.

“We have had a lot of flooding in the Southern and Western portions of the county and around the Neches River," Campbell said.

Although the flooding has complicated the lives of county residents, Campbell says it has been mild so far. Flood water usually recedes quickly after the rain stops, Campbell said.

Even more burdensome, according to Campbell, have been instances of downed power lines and fallen trees blocking roadways, making for difficult driving conditions on county roads.

But, Campbell suggested that some people would be better off waiting for clear skies before hitting the road because many have exercised poor judgment in the inclement weather.

“I’ve seen so many avoidable accidents take place simply because people refuse to adjust their driving to the weather,” Campbell said.

“My dispatcher called in about four accidents in a three hour period recently that occurred because of reckless driving.”

The weather hasn't had much of an economic impact, according to several sources. Restaurateurs reported no significant drop off in customer patronage due to the weather.

As for the impact on the county's crops, the rain has been a mixed blessing. It has prevented farmers from being able to go out and work in the field, but on the flip side, there is plenty of hay with which to feed animals, something that was sorely lacking last year.

“People were having to buy hay from South Texas and Louisiana last year because of the drought,” said John Paine of Farm and Ranch Feed and Fertilizer. “That certainly hasn’t been an issue this year,” he said.

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