State declares Level 2 drought

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The Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team (KDMT), have issued a Level 2 Drought Declaration for counties in seven drought management areas in central and western Kentucky. A Level 1 Drought has been declared for an additional 16 counties in six DMAs.

These new counties bring the total to 50 counties in seven DMAs under a Level 2 declaration. That includes some counties from central Kentucky: Anderson, Franklin, Harrison, Scott, and Woodford.

35 counties in eight DMAs are under a Level 1 declaration.

Many counties across the state had previously issued burn bans after a lack of rain this summer. The Scott County Fire Department says the lack of rain is giving them problems.

"It's just so dry and like I said we're in a moderate drought and anything that gets out of hand or any little spark just worries us to death. Today with the wind up, we're just kinda waiting with bated breath to see what's gonna happen now," says Chief Mike Fuller with the Scott County Fire Department.

Chief Fuller says in the past the county has had to conserve water during droughts.

"I can remember they restricted lawn watering and car washing and stuff like that in the past," says Chief Mike Fuller.

While county officials say there currently aren't any water restrictions in place in Scott county, they do want people to know they are at a Level 2 drought.

Counties within the new Level 2 drought declaration areas:

Bluegrass DMA: Anderson, Franklin, Harrison, Scott, Woodford

Green River DMA: Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, Webster

KIPDA: Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble
Lincoln Trail: Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Meade, Nelson

Northern Kentucky DMA: Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton

Pennyrile DMA: Caldwell, Christian, Crittenden, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Muhlenberg, Todd, Trigg

Purchase DMA: Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, McCracken

Counties within the new Level 1 drought declaration areas:

Barren River DMA: Edmonson, Hart, Warren

Big Sandy DMA: Magoffin

Bluegrass DMA: Boyle, Estill, Garrard, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer

Gateway DMA: Morgan, Rowan

Kentucky River DMA: Breathitt, Lee

Lake Cumberland: Green, Taylor

Counties already within the Level 1 drought declaration areas:
Barren River DMA: Allen, Butler, Logan, Simpson

Bluegrass DMA: Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Nicholas, Powell

Buffalo Trace DMA: Bracken, Mason, Robertson

Gateway DMA: Bath, Menifee, Montgomery

Kentucky River DMA: Wolfe

Lincoln Trail DMA: Marion, Washington

Counties considered abnormally dry:

Barren River DMA: Barren, Metcalfe

Big Sandy DMA: Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Pike

Buffalo Trace DMA: Fleming, Lewis

Cumberland Valley DMA: Jackson, Rockcastle

FIVCO DMA: Boyd, Carter, Elliot, Greenup, Lawrence

Kentucky River DMA: Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry

Lake Cumberland DMA: Casey

A Level 1 drought indicates moderate drought conditions have developed primarily affecting soil moisture and vegetative health. Serious impacts to agricultural water needs, an increased wildfire risk, water supply shortages with systems on small lakes and reservoirs, and other water-sensitive sectors can be expected in the designated areas.

A Level 2 drought indicates that the Level 1 risks are becoming an actuality. Low stream flows and lower-than-normal lake levels could lead to water conservation advisories and/or mandatory restrictions on water use.

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