State Evaluates Potential Drought Conditions in Oregon : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

State Evaluates Potential Drought Conditions in Oregon

February 13, 2001, 04:45 PM

By Bruce Sussman and Teresa Bell, KGW

Government officials said they’re considering declaring a drought in Oregon after studying water levels in the region’s rivers and snowpack in the mountains.

Experts said the Columbia River was documented last month at its third-lowest flow levels in 72 years.

Snowpack in the Northwest is also measurably low. Levels remain at 40 percent below normal and a wet, cool spring is the only hope of changing that.

State climatologist George Taylor said he predicts widespread impact. “There'll be less water in the rivers, people interested in fishing and water recreation will face problems, we'll see more extreme fire danger, water bills will go up,” he explained.

Taylor pointed out that Oregon has faced several dry winters that were eventually saved by a wet spring.

Officials at Wednesday’s meetings will likely make recommendations to the governors of Oregon and Washington about whether to declare a drought.

-- Martin Thompson (, February 13, 2001

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