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Observer 11/24/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Downpour good for some growers

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Downpour good for some growers

Rain clouds hover over the Grande Ronde Valley this morning. The area received as much as 1-1/2 inches of rain Wednesday as a large low-pressure system continues to make its way across the Pacific Northwest. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Rain clouds hover over the Grande Ronde Valley this morning. The area received as much as 1-1/2 inches of rain Wednesday as a large low-pressure system continues to make its way across the Pacific Northwest. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Grande Ronde Valley records as much as 1.55 inches of rain Wednesday 

Late spring rains brought good news for some local growers this week.

Areas of the Grande Ronde Valley received as much as 1.55 inches of rain, mostly falling Wednesday.

“It’d be nice if it had been littler earlier,” said grower Gene Hardy, who farms dry land near Elgin. When he left his home Wednesday morning, he had already gotten two-tenths of an inch. By Thursday, he had received more than an inch. 

“The fall wheat is still filling,” he said, so the rain helps. 

Jennifer Isley, USDA Farm Service Agency county executive director, said Wednesday that the rain is good, but the impacts depend on the duration of the rain event and the microclimates found in the valley.

“From what I’m hearing it’s a widespread rain,” she said. “There’s some spring-planted stuff that this will be a blessing for.”

National Weather Service Meteorologist Marilyn Lohmann said the City of La Grande — measured at the Forest Service office — got the most precipitation through late Tuesday and Wednesday at 1.55 inches. The airport came in at .57 inches and a report north of Summerville Thursday morning came in at .9 inches.

Union County Public Works Director Doug Wright said the rain didn’t create any major issues for the county. The City of La Grande, however, did have to call a tree service to keep a tree from falling into a carport, said La Grande Public Works Director Norman Paullus. 

“Floating leaves and debris plugging grates was the biggest problem we had,” he said. Pipes and channels held all the water.

Lohmann said the rain was a result of a large low-pressure system making its way across the Pacific Northwest and will influence weather here through Friday.

“Another strong upper low-pressure system will be nearing the area on Sunday,” she said. “That could be another good moisture producer through the mid-part of next week.”

Contact Kelly Ducote at 541-786-4230 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Kelly on Twitter @lgoDucote.

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