Friday, July 16, 1999

Drought looms in Kentucky

East and Bluegrass may become 'severe'

The Associated Press

        Eastern Kentucky and the Bluegrass regions have slipped further into the moderate category on a widely used drought index, despite showers last weekend.

        Both regions need more than 4 inches of rainfall to bring water levels to normal for the year.

        Central and western Kentucky are both in the mild drought category, said Tom Priddy, University of Kentucky agricultural meteorologist.

        The Tristate also is 4 inches below normal, according to statistics kept at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

        Dave Morgan, supervisor of the water quantity program at the state Division of Water, said he considers the regions to be on a water shortage watch.

        “Things are getting worse and worse,” he said. “Without a nice, sustained rain, we're not going to get out of this any time soon.”

        Said Mr. Priddy: “If we don't get some rain by next Monday, we could slip even further, possibly into the severe drought category.”

        Kentucky-American Water Co., which serves the Lexington area, is asking customers to reduce outdoor watering.


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