Aug. 11—Amid this year's blistering hot and bone dry summer, Greenville Electric Utility System (GEUS) reported a new benchmark for demand usage as local residents and businesses consumed an unprecedented amount of electricity.
"ERCOT shows our peak load on July 20 at 124.45 megawatts,' GEUS spokesperson Jimmy Dickey said Tuesday. "That's a new GEUS record."
Temperatures during that week were climbing to as high as 108 degrees in the afternoons with heat index values as high as 113.
Before that, the highest peak seen locally this summer was set on July 7 and 8 at 117 megawatts.
The previous all-time peak usage set by GEUS of 121 megawatts was recorded in August 2011 when extreme heat and drought also afflicted North Texas.
Hunt County finally caught a break in the ongoing drought this week with scattered showers and thunderstorms crossing the area Tuesday afternoon.
Although some locations received a healthy dose of rain — the first significant precipitation in weeks — other spots barely got anything.
A second chance of rainfall was expected Wednesday. However, the forecast calls for little potential for additional rainfall for the next week.
Some Hunt County residents, like Jennifer Soccio, reported a deluge Tuesday.
"Just north of Commerce, just under 3 1/2 inches," said Soccio, who displayed her rain gauge to corroborate her measurement.
"We got around 3 inches," said Kelly Strickland Patterson. "Northern Commerce! Rained for almost three hours!"
Jerry Giesler reported "2.3 inches at Cumby."
"A little over 2 inches near I-30 and west of 513," said DeAnne Thompson Barnett.
"I am very close to Majors Field and no rain, just a few drops," said Francine Swayze. "Sidewalk didn't even get wet."
Majors Field, the City of Greenville's municipal airport, reported no rain Tuesday.
Despite the recent rainfall, Hunt County remained under extreme drought conditions. It is among 224 Texas counties still under bans on outdoor burning Wednesday afternoon. Hunt County's ban prohibits the outdoor burning of trash or other items in any of the unincorporated areas of Hunt County. A violation of the ordinance can result in a fine of up to $500 for each occurrence.
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