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.