Drought This Winter?


DECATUR- Yes, many Central Illinois residents are sick and tired of this relentless Winter season, as we get round after round of significant snowfall and record cold temperatures. Such a harsh Winter in years has made it difficult to remember that we continue dealing with drought conditions. 

Currently, the drought is starting to let up; but according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of February 11, 2014, much of Central Illinois is under a moderate drought, parts of Sangamon, Macon, Logan, DeWitt, and Piatt Counties are experiencing a severe drought, and most of Central Illinois is under abnormally dry conditions. The City of Decatur just lifted their voluntary water conservation, as water levels continue to rise thanks to this Winter season. Since January, Lake Decatur has risen two feet. It was at fifty-percent full. Currently, Lake Decatur is seventy-three percent full. Decatur Water Management Director, Keith Alexander, is feeling positive about getting the lake back where it needs to be. With such an abundance in precipitation this Winter, Alexander anticipates Lake Decatur will have no problem filling up by this Spring. Alexander says that the extremely wet snow is melting and bringing out much needed moisture into rivers and streams. 

Abnormally dry conditions throughout Central Illinois started in the middle of August last year and has persisted since. Last year at this time, none of Central Illinois was experiencing any type of drought condition. To follow the latest drought conditions in Illinois, or throughout the United States, and compare to past dates, Google "U.S. Drought Monitor." The U.S. Drought Monitor updates every two weeks.

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