TOPEKA, Kan. (Hays Post) – Governor Laura Kelly has issued Drought Declarations for two-thirds of Kansas. The declarations apply to 75 of the state's 105 counties. Officials say these 75 counties are either in a drought emergency or are included in drought warning or watch areas. Kelly said the majority of Kansas has been considered in drought or in abnormally dry conditions for the past several weeks and that's led to a high risk of fire. The Hays Post reports that most of the state has received less than 70% of its normal rainfall since January. And many counties in southwestern Kansas have received less than half their normal amount of precipitation.
The drought declaration placed 13 counties in emergency status, 18 into a warning status and 44 into a watch status. This action was recommended by Earl Lewis, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team. Counties listed in "emergency" drought status are eligible for emergency use of water from certain state fishing lakes. Individuals and communities need to contact the state water office for permission prior to any withdrawals from lakes. For more detailed information about current conditions, visit the Kansas Climate Summary and Drought Report on the Kansas Water Office website.
Drought Stage Declarations by County:
- Drought Emergency: Finney, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Morton, Scott, Seward, Stanton, Stevens, Wallace, Wichita
- Drought Warning: Barber, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Crawford, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, Jewell, Lane, Logan, Meade, Ness, Rawlins, Sherman, Smith, Thomas
- Drought Watch: Allen, Anderson, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Coffey, Cowley, Decatur, Dickinson, Edwards, Elk, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Johnson, Kiowa, Labette, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Miami, Mitchell, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Republic, Rooks, Rush, Sedgwick, Sheridan, Sumner, Trego, Wilson, Woodson, Wyandotte
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