Few among us who might have been awakened in the wee hours of Tuesday morning by what had become an unfamiliar sound resented the sleep interruption.
The sound, sight and smell of sweet rainfall blessing the Chattahoochee Valley after weeks of a drought that has seemed as if it would last forever (and it’s not over yet) was far more welcome than any shuteye it might have cost us.
The rain that began early Tuesday fell on ground so parched it needed a first wave of water just to soften it up enough to absorb more.
More is expected, and God willing, we’ll get it today (Wednesday) and tonight. Scattered thunderstorms are expected in the morning and almost certain in the afternoon.
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The extended water shortage, which has contributed to low lake and river levels, wildlife stress, water consumption advisories and the like, has also resulted in fire hazards — and fires.
State parks in Georgia have instated fire bans of varying degrees; nearby FDR State Park in Harris County recently issued a campfire ban, and Florence Marina State Park in Stewart County has been under a full fire ban.
Major wildfires have been raging in the mountains of north Georgia, and the rain offers hope of at least some relief. The forecast is for “the greatest [rainfall] amounts right at the bull’s-eye of where we’ve been having our greatest activity,” Dave Martin of the U.S. Forest Service told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A couple of days’ rain doesn’t negate weeks of drought. But at this point, we’ll take what we can get, and be thankful for it.
Mad about … what?
If you’re looking for a textbook example (an apt metaphor in this case) of an organization empowering its political foes by pointlessly pouting about one of its staunchest allies, we give you the Georgia Federation of Teachers.
The GFT, not surprisingly, opposed Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed constitutional amendment calling for an opaquely defined and suspiciously non-accountable state takeover of struggling schools. So did one of the federation’s most influential legislative supporters, House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta. (So, for the record, did we. So did a substantial voter majority in Georgia.)
But the organization has just given Abrams a “No Confidence” vote … because she couldn’t keep the proposal from being put on the ballot at all.
“Stacey voted the right way,” GFT President Verdaillia Turner said, “but that’s a smokescreen.”
For what? For the 11 House Democrats who voted in favor of putting the proposed amendment before the voters? (“A leader of a caucus is supposed to hold their caucus together,” Turner told the AJC.)
If the GFT set out to provide fodder for those who say such organizations are more about power politics than about education, they could hardly have picked a better fight.
Their side won, their most powerful legislative ally voted with them, and they’re angry. There seems to be a lot of that going around.