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AM Update: Rainfall Totals, Health & Mosquito Spraying, Diez y Seis Events

Caleb Miller for KUT News

Good morning! Grab your galoshes and umbrella, it's raining! After a dry couple of weeks, that's our top story in today's AM Update:

Rain and More Rain

The rain will continue to fall across Central Texas this morning. Most of the showers are expected to be light to moderate but downpours are possible.

Leander has received more than 7.6 inches in the past 24 hours. Marble Falls has received more than 5 inches and Dripping Springs seen more than 2 inches.

Our rain chances will stay at about 70 percent throughout the day and then fall to about 40 percent overnight.

Few Health Complaints from Dallas Mosquito Spraying

Several cities and counties in the Dallas area decided to spray for mosquitoes after a number of West Nile-related deaths and cases were reported there. Fifteen people have died from complications related to West Nile virus in Dallas County alone.

NPR Affiliate KERA reports the North Texas Poison Control Center received just 16 calls from people who complained of health problems after they say they were exposed to the pesticide during the first week of spraying.

  • 5 callers reported headaches after being exposed to the spray
  • 4 complained of skin irritation
  • 2 reported problems breathing
  • 2 reported no clinical effects after exposure to spray
  • 3 reported concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said aerial spraying for mosquitoes is safe.
Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services officials have said that widespread spraying for mosquitoes is not on the table right now. That’s despite three West Nile virus-related deaths and more than 56 confirmed cases in Travis County. The Texas Department of State Health Services recently reported that about a fourth of mosquitoes in the area tested positive for West Nile virus.

Local health officials say that the West Nile cases have not been clustered and that the current mosquito abatement plan of treating the eggs with larvicide is the best option right now. Health officials also say everyone should take steps to avoid mosquito bites – including wearing insect repellent and staying indoors at dawn and dusk.

Celebrate Diez y Seis

There are a few events planned for this weekend in honor of Diez y Seis – when Mexico first declared independence from Spain.

The City of Austin is holding “Diezy Seis at Republic Square” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The celebration coincides with the Farmer’s Market, and the city hopes that means more people will participate. The event includes live music and dancing along with speeches from Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez and the Consul General of Mexico, Rosalba Ojeda.

The organization Fiestas Patrias of Austin is holding its own two-day celebration. The34th annual Diez y Seis Fiesta is Saturday and Sunday at Fiesta Gardens. The event features a number of musical performances and a reenactment of the historic “Grito de Independencia” speech. Food, including traditional Mexican fare, will be available for purchase.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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