Governor Parson issues executive order putting 47 counties on drought alert

1 month 2 hours 51 minutes ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:12:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
By: Eric Graves, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - On Wednesday, Governor Parson issued an executive order putting nearly half of the counties in Missouri under a drought alert.

Forty-seven Missouri counties are now under the drought alert with parts of northern Missouri experiencing the most severe drought.

Governor Parson focused on Missouri farmers in a statement made Wednesday.

“Missouri farmers are resilient, but with no control over Mother Nature, this year’s drought has been difficult to battle,” said Governor Parson.

The Governor also focused on the importance of getting in front of the drought.

“By responding early to this drought, we can greatly reduce the impact upon our agricultural community as well as on all Missouri citizens,” said Governor Parson.

Jennifer Hoggatt, the Director of the Missouri Water Resources Center, agreed.

"Last thing you want to do is find yourself unprepared," she said.

Hoggatt focused on the impact the drought has had on farmers.

"They used a lot of hay during last winter, they didn't see the forage come in that they really need for this season," Hoggatt said.

She added farmers also have less water for animals.

Drinking water supplies are also being affected in northern Missouri, where the drought is at its worst, according to Hoggatt.

Part of Governor Parson's executive order activated the Drought Assessment Committee and the associated drought impact teams.

Hoggatt told KOMU 8 News she is working to assemble the committee and is planning the first meeting soon.

"Certainly anytime you've got a declaration from the Governor’s office you want to be responsive," Hoggatt said.

KOMU 8's Chief Metrologist Kenton Gewecke said the groundwork was laid for this drought due to the driest April and hottest May in recorded history.

At the end of the day, Hoggatt said Missouri just needs some rain.

Unfortunately, Gewecke does not see enough rain in the near future to fix the drought.

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