Rainfall in August is approaching record levels for Marion County, less than halfway through the month.
Rainfall at the Marion Reservoir dam has been 6.88 inches through 8 a.m. Monday. The record for all of August was 8.73 inches in 1996. The average rainfall for August is 3.72 inches. Records only go back to 1966.
Thanks to a wet final week, July was well above the average. There were 9.28 inches of rain in July. The average is 3.82 inches. It didn’t surpass the July record of 12.61 inches set in 1993, though.
Through Monday morning, the rainfall total for the year was 26.59 inches. The average for a full year is 33.33 inches.
Reservoir campsites closed
Many campsites at Marion Reservoir were closed because of high water. All of Marion Cove and French Creek campgrounds were closed, and much of Cottonwood Point and Hillsboro Cove were closed.
The water level Monday was high enough at Hillsboro Cove that a carp swam under the road through a culver in a camping loop and could be seen and heard splashing and grazing in a flooded ditch.
At noon Tuesday, the reservoir was 4½ feet into its 8-foot flood control pool. Another 2¾ inches of rain over the reservoir’s entire drainage basin would be enough to completely fill the flood control pool.
Water was flowing over the low-water bridge at Marion County Lake’s east end and the spillway at the west end Monday.
Lake resident Gordon Pendergraft said the water was spilling into his backyard Monday afternoon.
Golf course affected
Anyone calling Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course on Monday was greeted by a prerecorded message from Gary Andrews.
“We have received 2.35 inches of rain this morning, so the golf course will be closed today,” the message said.
It wasn’t the first day the course had been closed because of rain this month.
“We’ve had to be closed a lot the last two weeks because of all the rain,” Andrews said.
The club championship tournament was postponed a week from the weekend of Aug. 3, and golfers fortunately were able to complete it over the comparatively dry weekend. However, special precautions did have to be taken to prevent damage to the course, though.
Golfers couldn’t take carts onto the fairways, which meant a lot of walking, Andrews said.
However, Andrews said he would rather have the rain than a drought like recent summers have had.
“You can grow stuff with the rain,” he said.