Dallas County judge: 'Pray for good weather'



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Posted on August 18, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 18 at 9:06 PM

DALLAS — Storms grounded planes Friday night, so Dallas County did not finish its aerial spraying campaign targeting disease-carrying mosquitoes.

They won't be able to spray on Saturday night, either. "The weather patterns are such that the mission for tonight has been scrapped," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told reporters.

The county had planned to spray 308,000 acres on Friday; the pilots covered 88,000 acres before they were called back.

Jenkins said their mission is so urgent that he talked with faith leaders to pray for good weather. "I am asking all faith-based communities to please pray for no rain and light winds from 8:30 to 1 Sunday," he said.

Test results were expected back as early as Saturday from Thursday's spraying. But the weather has prohibited the county from gathering all the data it needs to determine how effective the ground and aerial spraying has been so far.

Even so, they believe they are killing a lot of infected mosquitoes.

"We should have very good control, because we are doing subsequent applications," said Laura McGowan, a spokeswoman for the company that is supplying the aircraft.

The plan now is to finish spraying Sunday night and then to re-spray areas on Monday and Tuesday.

County officials are warning that even if they spray in your area, you still need to wear mosquito repellant with DEET because some mosquitoes will survive the air assault.

"There is no protocol that can absolutely eradicate all mosquitoes," Judge Jenkins said. "It's driving down the population and targeting those that are most likely carriers."

The county said it has also asked the state to extend the time for ground spraying and to let the county keep trucks here until August 31. They hope by then the situation will be under control.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com