Moderate Drought Affects 3 New England States - NECN

Moderate Drought Affects 3 New England States



    Moderate drought affects 3 New England states

    A combination of a mild winter and a dry spring makes conditions ripe for a drought (Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014)

    (NECN: Brian Burnell) - In New England, there are new concerns about the dry weather as government officials have now declared a moderate drought for the Boston, Hartford, Providence and Brockton, Mass. areas.

    One doesn't have to be a meteorologist to understand New England had a mild winter, because very little snow translates into very little snow melt. Couple this with a dry spring so far, and parts of the region will find themselves experiencing a moderate drought.

    "It's been three or four weeks since we've had a good rain," said John O'Boyle of East Hartford, Conn. "We didn't have much run-off this year. Certainly not like last year."

    And a day like Thursday is frustrating when people talk about drought. Although there are gray skies above, there is still very little rain.

    For John Dzen, this is serious business. He grows 100 acres of Christmas trees and three acres of blueberries. For a farmer, it's all about the weather cycle over the entire year and roots.

    "And the roots are very susceptible to winter injury when we have no frost, we have no snow so the potential now to have winter injury as things start to grow is very great," said Dzen.

    And drought just adds to the problem. Farmers pile on lots of wood chips to hold moisture into the ground around their plants. If the drought gets worse, John could run pipe.

    "We own enough equipment to irrigate the entire farm, but it's just a matter of money," said Dzen. "It costs money to run the pumps that pumps the propane, it costs money to move the pipe. It's a never ending battle."