Local area upgraded from 'severe' to 'extreme' drought

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Reporter - Todd Faulkner
Photojournalist - David Dycus

PADUCAH — From severe to extreme, drought conditions create more worry for farmers and those who rely on them for business.

Many call it a new ranking in the wrong direction. As of Thursday morning, portions of the Local 6 area are in a category so many people desperately wanted to avoid.

The United States Drought Monitor has upgraded portions of our region from a severe drought to a an extreme drought.

These days, the only cool, crisp water for flowers and plants comes from a hose.

Crystal Sanders with Sanders Nursery said the new ranking means people need to pay extra attention to what's in their yards.

"I'm hoping for rain," she said. "We need to do a rain dance everybody. A rule of thumb is plants need an inch of rainfall per week."

Since we're not getting that rainfall, people need to water more frequently.

"A good two to three times a week, soaking everything really good on a low slow trickle," Sanders said.

A trickle is how Vernon Golightly would describe the pace of business he's seeing these days as owner and operator of Golight Equipment, Inc. in Ballard County.

"Are you going to have enough money to pay all your bills? Are you going to have enough money to pay all your employees? It wears on you," Golightly said.

He's worried because this time of year, his bays should be full of farm equipment and lawn mowers ready for repairs and maintenance.

"Normally, this time of year, we're covered up. We got people fussing at us because we can't get stuff out quick enough."

Dry land is preventing farmers and mowers from putting their equipment to the test.

"I don't like to wake up at night because when I wake up at night, I'll start thinking about it then," Golightly said.

So while all he can do is hope for rainfall to improve his business, at least you can try to solve the problem head on.

"The best advice is to get a shovel, dig down next to the plant and feel down in your soil and see how wet it's staying," Sanders said.

Vernon Golightly said he saw a 40 percent drop in business for the month of May and expects a 50 percent drop in business in June, compared to this time last year.

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