Despite a reprieve from the oppressive heat, Henry County is under a no burn ban.
Within the last month, most of Henry County has received less than two inches of rain with temperatures averaging in the 90s.
Judge Executive John Logan Brent issued the ban on July 5. The order will stay in effect until the county receives sufficient rainfall. The ban for all outdoor burning includes fireworks.
On July 6, the Energy and Environment Cabinet announced a water shortage watch for most of western Kentucky, but includes 27 counties throughout the state. Residents have been advised by the Cabinet to reduce their water consumption, easing the demand from water suppliers and those who rely on wells should report lowering water supplies to their local health department.
Kentucky Division of Water officials use the Palmer Drought index, the Drought monitor and study rainfall and reservoir levels to ascertain drought status. The Drought Management Area has listed near by Owen and Pendleton Counties as meeting criteria for a water watch.
Division of Water Drought Coordinator Bill Caldwell said Henry County won’t have to worry about a drought situation.
“Henry County wells pull from the Ohio River and its alluvium,” Caldwell said. “Based on historical data Henry County’s water sources are very well buffered again drought.”
Kentucky State Climatologist Dr. Stuart Foster said conditions could spread eastward across the state.
“The current situation is reminiscent of 1988, while there are some indications that persistence of the current hot and dry pattern would trigger comparisons to droughts from the 1930s,” Stuart said.
The continuing drought has reduced crop yields for soybean and corn production in the western part of the state. Water levels continue to drop in ponds used for livestock and irrigation.
According to County Extension agent Steve Moore, corn crops that experience stress during the tasseling/silking stage will reduce yield potential.
“It appears this has been the case for some of our corn,” Moore said. “While it is still early to assess the damage, corn may well be the crop most affected.”