2017-10-11 / Front Page

Abnormally dry conditions creep in

By Dee Menear Irregular Staff Writer

WESTERN MOUNTAINS — According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report and summary, all of Franklin and Somerset counties slipped into abnormally dry conditions last week due to well below average rainfall and well above average temperatures. The report, issued Thursday, Oct. 5 said, “Should the drying trend continue across the Northeast through the early autumn, possible impacts could include an increased fire threat for dried-out, dead leaves, and a lack of moisture for producers planting cover crops or winter grains.”

Over a 30-day period, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather observer Betty Wing of Eustis just a half inch of precipitation, including two-tenths of an inch that fell Monday, Oct. 9. The same period (Sept. 10 to Oct. 9) also saw several days with temperatures soaring into the high 80s.

Last year officials established a 211 hotline for those experiencing dry wells and other drought-related issues. As of Monday, Oct. 9, no such hotline had been established despite several reports of dry wells in the area. The 211 is a statewide resource for a variety of health and human service issues. The service can be used by calling 211 or visiting 211maine.org.

Those with dry or threatened wells are encouraged visit Maine Emergency Management Agency’s Maine Prepares website at maine.gov. The page lists several resources for handling private wells that are low or dry, including monitoring, and water conservation.

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