White Rock Lake looking west toward Downtown. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

This article was originally published Sept. 8, 2017.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has had the wettest four years on record. And this spring has seemed unusually wet, causing sewage overflows and delaying construction projects. But summer’s sweltering heat is just around the corner, and a lack of water can be devastating too. During the 1950s, Texas suffered a severe drought, and it hit Dallas hard.

Summers between 1951 and 1957 often had more than 40 days above 100 degrees. People watered their roofs to keep their houses cool. But the drought was worse than the heat.

In 1952, Dallas rainfall was 1 percent of what it normally was. The following years weren’t much better. Parts of White Rock Lake were bone dry, the East and Clear forks of the Trinity River stopped flowing and 95 percent of the trees in Tenison Park died.

Dallas nearly ran out of water, and it led to the construction of many  area reservoirs as regional leaders tried to ensure Dallas never came that close again. Although they didn’t know it at the time, the drought was part of a normal weather pattern called the La Nina effect.

When you need a break from the flooding stories but still want to get your freak weather fix, read the full story here.

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