Parts of Southern IL now in exceptional drought
Portions of deep southern IL counties are placed in the worst drought rating this week. The rest of Illinois is in either moderate or severe drought.
Published: Jul 12, 2012
Massac County and portions of Pulaski and Gallatin counties are now rated "D4" or in exceptional drought conditions this week, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. The remainder of southern Illinois remains in "D3" or extreme drought this week.
For the first time this year, all of Illinois is placed in at least "D1" or moderate drought conditions.
Yesterday, the state agencies that make up the Drought Response Task Force in Illinois met to provide recommendations and assistance in dealing with persistent dry weather in the state. At the direction of Governor Quinn, the Task Force met to discuss the need for actions to ensure public safety and support the economic engines such as agriculture, wildlife and natural areas, as well as preserving drinking water supplies.
“The full extent of drought-related crop damage is not known yet, but early assessments indicate farmers will sustain substantial yield losses, especially in southern Illinois, where much of the corn crop has been destroyed,” Illinois Department of Agriculture Acting Director Bob Flider said. “I appreciate Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to simplify the disaster declaration process. They will result in the immediate declaration of 26 Illinois counties as disaster areas and make farmers in those counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans that can be used to pay not only production expenses, but also essential family living expenses.”
The 26 counties in Illinois that immediately meet the new criteria are: Alexander, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White and Williamson. Additional counties almost assuredly will qualify in the coming weeks.
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