By ROBERT S. MERRILL
As of March 31, Franklin County was officially in a drought situation.
Half way through the water year, which started on Oct. 1, the county had only accumulated 6.79 inches of moisture and it should have had about 9.16 inches, which puts the area at 74 percent of normal, according to King Smith, a Preston resident who records official weather statistics for the National Weather Service.
“The climate people in Pocatello will tell you if you are under 75 percent, you are in a drought. This goes along with the NOAA people that say we are in a prolonged, moderate drought that will go on for at least another six months,” said Smith. “We, here in the valley, are just a bit behind what we were at this time last year.
“And we are worse off this year than last in the area mountains. Last year at this time we were at 64 percent of normal and this year we are 59 percent at Emigrant summit. I was worried a few months ago we would be in this situation. Now I am very worried.
“I know things can change on a dime when Mother Nature wants to. It just is not normal to go this long in a drought and expect to grow the crops that we need. We should all have calluses on our knees asking for the patterns to change. But that is not my call.
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