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Governor Updates Drought Emergency, Warnings and Watches for Kansas Counties

Kansas Drought Declarations 9-2-21
Kansas Drought Declarations 9-2-21

Governor Laura Kelly has approved the updated Drought Declarations for Kansas counties with Executive Order 21-26. The declaration includes 87 out of 105 counties either in a warning or watch status.

"Unfortunately, the majority of the state of Kansas has been considered in a drought or abnormally dry conditions for the past several weeks," said Governor Kelly. "While we are very fortunate to be in a better situation than many states north and west of us, it doesn't minimize our dry conditions. I encourage Kansans to be mindful of drought conditions, and work to minimize the threat of fires across the state."

The drought declaration placed 14 counties into a warning status and 73 into a watch status. This action was recommended by Connie Owen, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor's Drought Response Team. Kansas has experienced a wide range of precipitation this year. Some areas have seen equal to or more than its normal rainfall while others, such as northwest, central and south-central counties have received less than 60, 70 or 80 percent of the area's normal precipitation.

"This year we have been in a better situation regarding drought than we were last summer, however it doesn't diminish the conditions being experienced throughout most of Kansas now," said Owen. "The Governor's Drought Response Team will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations to the Governor as necessary, as future outlooks call for drought-like conditions to persist into the fall, especially for the northwestern counties."

This Executive Order shall remain in effect for those counties so identified until rescinded by Executive Order or superseded by a subsequent Executive Order revising the drought stage status of the affected counties. Effective immediately declare a Drought Emergency, Warning or Drought Watch for the counties identified below, and authorize and direct all agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor to implement the appropriate watch or warning level drought response actions assigned in the Operations Plan of the Governor's Drought Response Team.

The Governor's Drought Response Team will continue to watch the situation closely and work to minimize the effects the drought has on Kansans.

For more detailed information about current conditions, see the Kansas Climate Summary and Drought Report on the Kansas Water Office website at www.kwo.ks.gov.

County Drought Stage Declarations:

Drought Watch: Atchison, Brown, Butler, Chase, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Comanche, Cowley, Decatur, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Edwards, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Geary, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Johnson, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Leavenworth, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Meade, Morris, Morton, Nemaha, Ness, Norton, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Republic, Riley, Rooks, Rush, Saline, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Shawnee, Sheridan, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Trego, Wabaunsee, Wallace, Washington, Wichita and Wyandotte.

Drought Warning: Barber, Barton, Cheyenne, Ellsworth, Harper, Lincoln, McPherson, Mitchell, Osborne, Rawlins, Rice, Russell, Sherman and Thomas.

(Information courtesy KWO.)