After rain delay, Dallas County resumes aerial spraying

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 19 at 11:00 PM

DALLAS — Dallas County's aerial assault on the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus resumed on Sunday night.

Bad weather canceled spraying plans on Saturday after Friday's operation was grounded early because of stormy skies.

More than 250,000 acres were targeted by four planes that lifted off from Dallas Executive Airport on Sunday evening, including all or parts of nine cities: Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Grand Prairie, Mesquite and Richardson [SEE MAP]. They planned to drop 1,500 gallons of a mosquito-killing pesticide.

Weather conditions were described as clear and calm. Carrollton and Garland were the first cities to be sprayed on Sunday evening. By 10 o'clock, one plane had moved south to cover Farmers Branch.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was glad to see all four planes at work. "It's an incredible sense of relief for me to see this good weather and I know that when families wake up tomorrow, they'll be safer because of it," he said.

The campaign is expected to conclude by 2:30 a.m., with additional spraying on Monday night using a fifth aircraft.

Jenkins said the initial applications on Thursday and Friday night appeared to be doing the job. "What we're seeing from the tests so far is a decrease in West Nile virus-carrying activity mosquitoes in the traps," he said.

The cities in Dallas County that have not signed up for the aerial spraying program have until 2 p.m. Tuesday to change their minds.

The City of Arlington will start targeted ground spraying for mosquitoes on Sunday night. Operations are scheduled to start at 10:30 p.m. Areas include Jake Langston Park, Doug Russell Park and the airport area, and will continue through 4 a.m. Monday. The plan is to spray Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights.

Fort Worth will continue ground spraying on Sunday night. The city is focusing on parts of two zip codes: 76104 and 76110. Fort Worth hasn't sprayed for mosquitoes since the 1990s.

With the number of human cases of West Nile in Tarrant County at nearly 200, city leaders said they have to act.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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