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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Governor Declares Drought Emergency, Warnings and Watches for Kansas Counties

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Today Governor Kelly issued Drought Declarations for Kansas counties with Executive Order #20-54. The declaration includes 74 out of 105 counties either in an emergency, warning or watch status.

“Unfortunately, the majority of the state of Kansas has been considered in drought or abnormally dry conditions for the past several weeks, which has led to high risk of fire hazard,” said Governor Kelly. “This declaration will allow affected communities to access the water they need. I encourage Kansans to continue to be mindful of drought conditions, and work to minimize the threat of fires across the state.”

The drought declaration placed 13 counties in emergency status, 18 into a warning status and 44 into a watch status. This action was recommended by Earl Lewis, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team. Most of the state has received fewer than 70% of its normal rainfall since January, and many southwestern counties have received less than half of their normal precipitation.

“It has been a very dry winter and spring, especially in western Kansas, and forecasts into the coming summer months predict higher temperatures and fewer chances of precipitation,” said Lewis. “The Governor’s Drought Response Team will continue to monitor the situation closely as future outlooks call for drought persisting and make recommendations to the Governor as necessary.”

Counties who are in emergency stage are eligible for emergency use of water from certain state fishing lakes due to the Kansas Water Office (KWO) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT).

Individuals and communities need to contact KWO for a water supply request prior to any withdrawals from lakes. They will in turn be referred to the appropriate KDWPT office to obtain the necessary permit to withdraw the water.

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;
  • 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: Allen, Anderson, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Coffey, Cowley, Decatur, Dickinson, Edwards, Elk, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Johnson, Kiowa, Labette, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Miami, Mitchell, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Republic, Rooks, Rush, Sedgwick, Sheridan, Sumner, Trego, Wilson, Woodson, Wyandotte

Drought Warning: Barber, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Crawford, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, Jewell, Lane, Logan, Meade, Ness, Rawlins, Sherman, Smith, Thomas

Drought Emergency: Finney, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Morton, Scott, Seward, Stanton, Stevens, Wallace, Wichita.

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