Quanah drought update:
Just today we talked to Quanah city leaders and found that they have upgraded to drought level three. This is similar to level two, but they are asking residents to conserve a bit more. They will reevaluate the situation on the first week of August and may need to upgrade to level four, which would eliminate all non-essential watering.
Issues Facing Your Town: Quanah
"We are survivors and people are just trying to outlive these hot and dry conditions and I think if we can get some of the things settled and the economy picks up a bit more, then I think we will be doing just great," said Eugene Johnson the Executive Director of Quanah Economic Development.
Johnson is one of many Quanah residents that has the fighting and surviving spirit, and that is exactly what is needed in these harsh times. The budget woes in Washington have trickled all the way down and hit towns like Quanah hard.
Johnson said, "everyone wants to please Dallas Fort Worth and Houston, but the smaller towns they kind of forget and put us on the back burners."
"We are not seeing a lot of new businesses coming in," said Bertha Woods of the Chamber of Commerce. "We have had some, yes, but not what we would like to have."
Woods is excited about the new businesses coming to town and hopes more continue to move to the area, but conversations always turned towards the worsening drought. There is a large concern for the water running out, and soon.
"It will affect us first if matters get to that point," said Woods. "The water supply will be gone."
Many Western Texoma towns get their water from Greenbelt Lake in the Texas Panhandle, which means that Texoma towns are at the end of the line. Woods and other Quanah leaders are worried that their water will be cut off first if the drought continues much longer.
Meanwhile, the lack of water has killed the crops just like the rest of Texoma, and it isn't just this summer. Woods is worried about the winter season to come.
"Even if it starts raining right now, there will be very little pasture for any of the cattle to graze on and to go through the winter with," said Woods.
Fewer cattle and crops hurts farmers and ranchers all over Texoma, but it is hitting Quanah even harder this year.
Woods explained that many Western Texoma farmers travel to Quanah to ship off their crops and cattle by train or truck. Since there is no wheat crop, people from surrounding towns aren't driving through.
Another important part of Quanah's economy is the elderly population, but because of the heatwave, many of them stay indoors and don't spend money. However young families are moving to Quanah. Lee Loeffler and his family moved here less than three months ago.
"I saw this as an opportunity for me and my family to give back to the area similarly to what we have done the last 15 years in Lampassas," said Loeffler.
Loeffler moved here to be the Vice President of Security Bank, which just happens to be celebrating its 120th birthday in Quanah! He believes the growth and success of Quanah will improve simply with the changing of the season.
"With school starting up you are going to see more activity in town, the excitement of Friday night football and everything associated with that," said Loeffler. "I think it is going to raise the overall moral of people in town."
While a new school year could energize the town, for now, the general motto seems to be: endure.
"Quanah is a survivor," said Woods. "And we will come back... When it rains!"