By Ben Kessler
The recent dousing of Clovis may well have been a blessing for local gardeners, said Lowe’s hardware store employee Elmo Garcia.
The zone manager for the store said the inclement weather is beneficial to plants and flowers.
“I wish it (the rain) would go on all summer,” he said adding that gardeners shouldn’t be worried about the rain washing their seeds away. “If you’re planting seeds, cover them with some mulch — they’ll be fine. The wind effects them more than the rain.”
Another problem for seeds is the cold, and Garcia advised waiting until the last frost passes which she expects to happen in the middle of this month.
Lowe’s traffic levels has varied along with the weather. Garcia estimated the warmer weather prior to the rains increased the garden center’s traffic by 150 percent.
During the rain, however, sales slow.
“People don’t want to go out into their gardens in the rain,” he said.
This weekend at least 1.27 inches of moisture fell according to the National Weather Service. That total led to a flash flood watch about 5 a.m. Sunday. That watch expired at 6 p.m., said Maxine Pacheco of the weather service.
Pacheco said the most rainfall in Clovis history for an April day was 2.86 inches on April 16, 1915.
Saturday did break an April 3 record which was previously .65 of an inch.
Ken De Los Santos, emergency management director for Clovis and Curry County, said that there were a few instances where the rainfall had caused the Department of Public Works to go out, but the greatest danger posed by the rain, he said, is flash flooding.
“We don’t have drainage so (the rain) stays on the streets,” De Los Santos said. “It is a danger because people don’t know how deep the water is, so they can end up stranded.”
While no flash floods had occurred as of press time, De Los Santos suggested drivers who encounter them and are unsure of the water’s depth should take other route.
He said pedestrians shouldn’t try and wade through flash floods.
“There is so much water, it can have a current effect, and can take people further than they expect,” he said.
Clovis is expected to receive more precipitation this week, Pacheco said, with a chance of thunderstorms today, showers Tuesday and more thunderstorms Thursday.