Leavenworth County not included in drought order

John Richmeier

Leavenworth County was not included among the Kansas counties that were placed under a drought watch, warning or emergency this week. But a U.S. Drought Monitor map of Kansas indicates about half of Leavenworth County is considered to have abnormally dry conditions.

On Monday, Gov. Laura Kelly declared drought emergencies, warnings and watches for 74 of the state’s 105 counties. The governor’s executive order placed two of Leavenworth County’s neighbors, Wyandotte and Johnson counties, under drought watches.

A U.S. Drought Monitor map of Kansas released last week indicates conditions are abnormally dry in all of Wyandotte County and most of Johnson County. The map also indicates the eastern half of Leavenworth County is abnormally dry.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a map released on a weekly basis, showing parts of the United States that are in drought. The map is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor website.

Dry conditions may continue in the area. Kim Buchanan, deputy director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management, said the National Weather Service is predicting above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for next week.

There are chances of rain this week. But lately, storms seem to fall apart by the time they reach Leavenworth County, Buchanan said.

“We’ve got to be grateful for everything we get,” she said.

The governor’s executive order placed 44 counties into a drought watch status, 18 counties into a warning status and 13 counties into an emergency status.

The Governor’s Drought Response Team will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations to Kelly as necessary, according to Earl Lewis, director of the Kansas Water Office.

Lewis also serves as the chairman of the Governor’s Drought Response Team.

Most of the state has received less than 70% of its normal rainfall since January, and many southwestern counties have received less than half of their normal precipitation, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The cutoff for data for U.S. Drought Monitor maps occurs each Tuesday morning. Maps are released each Thursday morning.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map can be found at droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR