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Heavy rains in Martin County do little to put dent in drought conditions

Posted at 7:12 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 16:29:31-04

Tuesday’s sudden downpour made for a tough start to the Tuesday morning commute in Martin County. 
 
“It just continues to rain over the same area,” says Storm Team 5 Meteorologist Steve Villanueva. “Very heavy rain, which leads to what we saw this morning.” 

We hit the road with Steve to check out the aftermath in Port Salerno, which received more that 5 inches of rain.

A couple hours later – you’d never know it did. 
 
“A lot of it ended up in the canals, a lot of it the ground absorbed,” Steve says.
 
Steve says Tuesday morning's sudden burst was good, but not enough. 
 
As dry as the ground is right now - there's only so much it can absorb before it runs off. 
 
Steve says it means the dry brush and vegetation doesn't get the deep moisture it desperately needs. 
 
“We’re going to have to have several storms that come through that'll take one to two days where you get a lot of rain, but not in an hour or two,” he says.
  
That dry vegetation provides potent fuel for wildfires says Melissa Yunas with The Florida Forest Service.

She says this soaking reduces the risk for a week at most, but the danger remains. 
 
“What this rain is going to do is help green up the grass, but it's actually not going to quell our wildfire risk."

The Florida Forest Service says now is the time to make sure that your home is fire proof by clearing dry leaves and plants from your roof and your gutter - anything to help reduce the risk to your home and property.