OREGON COUNTY -- Oregon County is one of 23 Missouri counties for which a drought alert was declared last week by Gov. Matt Blunt. The governor also ordered the Drought Assessment Committee to swing into action.
The 23 counties listed have experienced a shortage of rainfall since February, along with months of low stream levels and low soil moisture conditions, indicating a moderate drought level, Blunt's office said. Even dry areas that received some rain recently did not get enough to make up for the shortfall they have faced, the office said. The Drought Assessment Committee evaluates drought conditions and recommends ways to ease its effects. Under the drought response plan, a drought alert, the second of four levels, is declared when area rainfall is below normal for several months, plants show stress and stream and pond levels drop. Blunt said he asked the committee to look for ways to assist farmers and communities. "Farmers are spending significant amounts to irrigate their fields, and pasture conditions continue to deteriorate," Blunt said. Some of the other counties in the area included in the alert are: Howell, Reynolds, Shannon and Carter.