Drought in southern WV reaches moderate level

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Sprinklers spray water on plants at Green Valley Farms, a commercial nursery in Montevallo, Ala., on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. Weeks of dry, hot weather across the Deep South have worsened a drought that a federal assessment says is affecting more than 11 million people across five states. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Agencies across West Virginia are working together to coordinate their response to drought conditions. A weather briefing on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 by the National Weather Service in Charleston, WV stated conditions in southern West Virginia have reached the D1 or Moderate Drought level.

The D1 designation means streams, reservoirs and wells will run low and water shortages are developing or imminent.

According to a release from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), county dispatchers began receiving call from farmer in the past few days. They are concerned about water for their livestock.

While DHSEM has received no formal request for assistance, they are prepared to respond. In the meantime, county emergency managers are addressing issues through assistance from local response agencies.

The low-water combined with afternoon breezes and low humidity also create an increased threat for wildfires. According to a release from DHSEM, vegetation is very dry providing fuel for wildfires to spread quickly.

“With dry weather and temperatures predicted to be above normal through next week, we want West Virginians to stay safe by following Governor Justice’s proclamation banning outdoor burning and listening to safety officials,” said DHSEM Director Michael Todorovich. “Following these directions could save your home, your life and the lives of your family.”

If you need emergency assistance due to drought conditions, contact your county Office of Emergency Services or the DHSEM Watch Center, staffed 24-hours per day, at 304-558-5380.

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