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Welcome moisture

The rain that pounded the area early Thursday morning was welcomed with open arms, even if most of us still were in bed.

The high winds that accompanied the front weren't quite as pleasing, however. Many residents of Hays and the surrounding areas awoke to find their yards littered with limbs and branches. As common a site as that was, those were the lucky ones.

There were more than a few reports of entire trees being toppled, crashing into automobiles, fences, sheds, even the grotto at St. Joseph Catholic Church in downtown Hays. In many cases, children's toys, as well as patio and lawn furniture, either were damaged or blown out of yards.

In short, insurance agents will be busy for at least a few days inspecting property and filing claims.

For those with tree debris, the city of Hays once again is providing its valuable pickup service -- free of charge. While crews already are going through all streets and public transportation areas in an effort to clear them, the city announced it will have a citywide cleanup Monday.

Property owners are advised they have until 7 a.m. Monday to move any tree limbs to the curb if they wish the city to pick them up. The announcement emphasized the debris should not be placed in the street or over sidewalks. Also, city staff will not go onto private property to gather any fallen branches.

As not everybody is equipped with chainsaws and pickups, this service is extremely helpful. Even if you have such gear, the convenience factor of having city crews hauling away the limbs is priceless. If you have any questions about the removal, call the Hays Parks Department at (785) 628-7375.

While varying amounts of moisture were reported throughout the region, the rain was enough for Ellis County Rural Fire Director Richard Klaus to lift the burn ban that was in place.

We could use a few more intense downpours such as Thursday's storm. All the measures and actions taken in response to the extended drought do nothing to lessen the climatic condition. Only precipitation can do that. Bring it on.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net