Drought disaster declared in Siskiyou and Modoc Counties

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Drought disaster declared in Siskiyou and Modoc

Updated: May 4, 2001 - 4:30 p.m.

Gov. Gray Davis declared a state of emergency in Siskiyou and Modoc Counties Friday because of drought conditions in the Klamath Basin. He ordered the Office of Emergency Services to give water districts up to $5 million to drill new wells or increase the use of existing groundwater in the greater Tulelake area to help make up for the lack of rainfall.

That will not only help farmers and ranchers, but protect topsoil that would otherwise turn to dust and blow away, Davis said in his proclamation. He also asked the Legislature to approve $2 million through the Department of Water Resources to support mediation of water allocation disputes along the Oregon-California border. That will help not only this summer but in the long term, Davis said.

He also ordered state agencies to create a local "one-stop" assistance center to help with drought-related problems and provide services to farmers, farm workers and businesses.

The counties have had more than $73 million in agricultural losses, the governor's office said.

-- Associated Press

-- Swissrose (cellier3@mindspring.com), May 04, 2001

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