- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
Okay everyone, it’s getting to be that time of year again — the winds change, the days lengthen, the air gets moist, and from time to time, we tend to get slammed with severe weather. The latter part of the month of March usually marks the beginning of our severe weather period, often called tornado season. This will continue throughout spring and into the early summer, before our raging temperatures squelch the atmosphere of any moisture, a main ingredient in the development and longevity of strong storms.
Looks like we could have our first weather event of the year at the end of this week and on into the weekend. The thinking now is that there is more a concern for flooding — as this system is a wet and stalling one — than severe weather or tornadoes. That said, there is still a chance when the storm system arrives Thursday afternoon that some severe thunderstorms could develop in our area bringing the chance of the triple threat: gusty winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes. We even have a chance of rain and spotty thunderstorms on Wednesday evening as the stronger system approaches.
This is only a prediction so it could go either way, may just rain and not storm at all. However, stay aware, it’s better to be safe than sorry and the according to www.weather.com, this is going to be a major flash flood event, with rivers, creeks, and urban areas flooding being the main concern, and the highest risk for severe storms in our area coming later Thursday afternoon. The rain is supposed to get here with the storms and stay until at least Saturday.
The National Weather Service’s office in Ft. Worth, TX released a report this morning that reads as follows:
An active period of weather is in store for North Texas for the remainder of the week. Strong south winds today will average 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 40 mph this afternoon. The strong winds will transport abundant gulf moisture northward and set the stage for a round of severe thunderstorms Thursday and a prolonged period of rain that will continue through Sunday. The potential exists for two to four inches of rain over a large area with some locations receiving in excess of 5 inches. This will result in a threat of flooding in urban areas and of rivers, streams and creeks. There remains some uncertainty in exactly how this weather event will unfold, but all indications are for a significant round of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.
Overview…A cold front well to our north will drop southward and into North Texas Thursday as a strong upper level storm system approaches from the west later in the week. Showers will be scattered across the area beginning Wednesday, but the threat of severe weather will exist from early Thursday afternoon through the evening across all of North Texas. At this time, large hail and damaging winds will be the primary threats, although isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out. The cold front will move through North Texas by Friday morning before stalling just to our south, ushering in cooler air but also setting the stage for a prolonged rain event Friday through Sunday.
Timing/Impacts: The threat of severe thunderstorms will exist beginning early Thursday afternoon along and north of Interstate 20, with storms tending to develop farther south with time toward Waco, Temple, Killeen and surrounding areas by late afternoon or evening. Spotter activation will be likely as the storms will pose a threat of large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. After the front stalls, moisture will override the cooler air near the surface resulting in a prolonged period of rain and thunderstorms Friday into Sunday, with much of North Texas receiving two to four inches of rain. Some locations along and east of Interstate 35 may see in excess of five inches by Sunday. This will result in rises on rivers, streams and creeks and in urban areas resulting in the potential for flooding.
Uncertainty…Confidence is relatively high on the threat of severe thunderstorms Thursday and on heavy rainfall Friday through the weekend. The usual uncertainties exist on the exact locations where the heaviest rain will fall and on the final amounts. Our web page will contain our latest thinking as trends evolve and new data are received.
Bottom Line…Spotter groups should be prepared for activation due to the potential for severe weather Thursday afternoon and evening. A flood Watch will likely be issued for portions of North Texas in the next day or so as the flood threat becomes more clearly defined. There is some potential for significant river flooding in some areas, so monitor later forecasts on total rainfall amounts and locations.
The area of concern with this storm system has a lot of camp grounds which could be full of students who are enjoying their spring breaks. These camp grounds are definitely a worry to flood if this weather event goes as predicted. Be sure and know your weather forecast and stay aware.
It is still a few days before the system arrives so, as the day draws nearer, a more definite and exact forecast could be released. Stay tuned to the Extra! for coverage of severe weather during this year’s storm season and this upcoming weather event.
Click the link below to read the Weather Channel’s meteorologists, Tim Ballisty’s article about the weather event.
The extension will be called the Prairiland extension and, combined with the westward expansion – just voted on and passed – of eight tenths of a mile, will make the beautiful trail 11 ½ miles in total length upon completion.
Judge Superville and commissioners heard Earl Erickson, one of the founders of the Trail de Paris and leading local trail advocate, explain the grant from the State of Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and why Hayter Engineering should be the company to provide the plans and construction for the expansion.
Paris has received 5 grants so far from the state of Texas and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for trail expansions and each time the money has been allocated to Hayter Engineering for the work by means of a professional service agreement.
Although the grant from the state only equals $200,000 and the total cost of this extension through Reno to Blossom will cost around $387,000, there will still be no out of pocket expenses from the county. This is due to the fact that there is a lot of community support including, but not limited to, RAM/Fasken Foundation, the Lennox Foundation, the First Federal Foundation and the Greater Paris Development Foundation. Read more about the Trail and extension by clicking here.
The Trail de Paris really adds a lot to the community of Paris and now Reno and Blossom alike. A lot of work, support, and dedication must go into it to make it possible and not everyone gets paid for their work – not money anyway. One of the main advocates for the Trail, Erikson is one of these who works tirelessly to see that the trail is taken care of and continues to grow.
After carrying the motion to contract Hayter Engineering and signing the Professional Service Agreement between them and Lamar County, Judge Superville added about Earl Erikson’s support, “We all get paid, Hayter Engineering gets paid, but you do not and we all truly appreciate your hard work and dedication to the trail.”
Earl Erickson, one of the founders of the Trail de Paris and leading local trail advocate addressed the Lamar County Commissioners Court on Monday asking them to enter into a “Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, National Recreational Trails Fund Agreement” which would allow Lamar County to receive a grant in the amount of $200,000. The grant would be used to extend the Trail de Paris from the city limits of Reno to the City of Blossom. The 3.1 mile expansion would bring the total trail length to just over 10 miles.
Back in January, Lamar County endorsed the grant application which was one of 60 received for the $9 million available. The trail expansion was one of 21 that received funding. The overall project to expand the trail to Blossom totals $387,000; however the RAM/Fasken Foundation, the Lennox Foundation, the First Federal Foundation and the Greater Paris Development Foundation picked up the slack so that no out of pocket funding was required by the county. “That’s $400,000 worth of work for our economically challenged community,” Erickson added.
Both Reno and Blossom mayors were on hand to strongly support the expansion of the trail between their communities. “One of our new citizens moved to Reno because of the trail. He works in Broken Bow! That shows the enthusiasm and benefits of the trail,” said Reno mayor Buddy Heuberger.
“We think it’s gonna be great and help out Blossom tremendously,” echoed Blossom mayor Jerry Wilson.
The Greater Paris Development Foundation is the owner of the rail bed from Paris to Clarksville upon which the trail is built. Chairman of the foundation Ed Ellis added, “So many partners have come together on this. I just want to say that we [Greater Paris Development Foundation] wholeheartedly support this.”
While the Commissioners Court was standing room only, packed with supporters, a lone detractor stepped forward. Pat Murphy, an adjacent landowner said, “A Paris News article says that just the three mile trail in Paris has cost the city over $300,000 in maintenance. Think about the budget. Who’s gonna pay for this maintenance. It’s a ‘feel good’ project, but let’s look at the unintended consequences. Very few people even use this trail. Who in this room actually uses the trail?”
Commissioner Malone responded, ”If it costs $100,000 to keep it up, we are not going to keep it up.”
Erickson again took the podium, “The National Rails to Trail Conservancy has done a survey of 100 successful rails to trails projects. The average cost for a 10ft wide asphalt trail is $1,500 per linear mile per year. Half of this new trail expansion is paved (1.5 miles). The other half will not be paved which costs about $1,000 per linear mile per year. The estimated maintenance cost for this new project is $3,875. That’s one tenth of 1% of the county’s road budget.”
In response to Mr. Murphy’s accusations that the trail would bring criminal mischief, Turtle Creek (Reno) resident Tommy Felty stepped forward. “My property is right next to the trail, and before the trail was built, there was all types of problems and riff raff back there. My place is now safer since the trail came.”
Lonnie Layton motioned that Lamar County enter into the TPWD recreational trails fund agreement to accept the $200,000 grant. The motion was seconded by Lawrence Malone. The vote carried with Keith Mitchell the lone dissenting vote.
By Jeff Parish
The Reno Rail Trail is officially open for business.
“This is so exciting to see this finally accomplished,” said Earl Erickson, one of the original founders of the Trail de Paris.
A ribbon cutting was held Saturday although the physical trail is actually two years old. Weather issues have delayed finishing touches.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Reno Mayor William “Buddy” Heuberger said. “I’m glad this day is finally here.”
Deborah Jackson, owner of Blossoms Blooms Learning Center, loaned several tricycles for a race after the ribbon cutting.
The Reno section is 1.8 miles. It starts where the Trail de Paris ends on Old Clarksville Road and goes about half a mile past Airport Road. The trail has markers every one-tenth of a mile to help identify location if someone has to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Friends of Reno Rail Trail were out selling bright yellow shirts for $15 and brick pavers for $50 each, or two for $75. The bricks will one day grace an information booth on the west side of Airport Road. A parking lot is planned for the eastern side, along with a shelter for protection in inclement weather.
“We still have a lot of building to do,” said Ruth Ashmore, chair of Friends of Reno Rail Trail.
There’s also a proposed Prairiland Trail that would connect Paris with Blossom, another section of what many hope will one day stretch all the way to Texarkana. The Blossom section could begin within the next year.
The trail project actually started before 2009 when Erickson came to the Reno City Council with a proposal.
“We were not very kind to him that night,” Heuberger said, noting that Erickson returned a year later and eventually helped change minds.
Erickson is a prime mover of the local Rails to Trails effort. Trail de Paris first started as a Leadership Lamar County project, and he’s helped make sure it’s grown ever since. His dogged efforts have led him to be affectionately known as “the Godfather” of the trail.
“Please join the Friends,” Erickson said. “That’s going to be the key to keeping this thing going.”
Echoing Erickson, Heuberger added: ”Any of you want to get involved, talk to Ruth, and she’ll find something for you to do.”
Bright benches will be placed along the trail, purchased by various donors to help fund the trail. The names of the donors are cut into the back of the bench: Larry’s Overhead Doors, J&L Paving, Sly Woodworks, Uptown Properties, We Pack and Blossoms Blooms.
“We’ve got locations picked out for two more benches, so if anyone’s interested, talk to Ruth,” Heuberger said.
Come fish the Bass Challenge hosted by Brannon’s Bass Shop and Falcon Fishing Rods at Pay Mayse Lake on October 29th. Grab your best fishing buddy for this 2 person team event to compete for the Bass Challenge Payback 100% and cash prizes. First place for total weight for 5 fish is a $500 Brannan’s gift certificate, 2nd is a $300 gift certificate and 3rd is $200 gift certificate. Each team will receive a tackle pack and 2 $40 gift certificates. Be sure to register early to guarantee you get your tackle pack. Ignition Bass is running the weigh-in, complete with digital display and PA system.
Check in and registration is at Brannan’s Bass Shop in Powderly on Friday, October 28th. The entry deadline is October 29th. Entry fee is $150 per team. For more information email Brannon’s Bass Shop firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the flyer, click on the archives on the right and then Falcon Fishing Tournament.