DEQ Issues Drought Watch in Virginia

Virginia is dry—very dry. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the commonwealth is abnormally dry or already suffering from a moderate drought. A lack of rain since October, during a period in which groundwater levels typically rebound, has caused experts to issue an alert for Virginians warning of the potential for a significant drought event.


New drought watches have just been issued for the New River and the Upper James River drought evaluation regions. A drought watch for the Appomattox River basin has been expanded to include all of the Middle James River region. And a drought watch for the Roanoke River region remains in effect.


The regions for the drought watches, issued by the Department of Environmental Quality, include:


New River Drought Evaluation Region: the counties of Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Wythe; the cities of Galax and Radford; and the towns of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Dublin, Floyd, Fries, Glen Lyn, Hillsville, Independence, Narrows, Pearisburg, Pembroke, Pulaski, Rural Retreat, Rich Creek, Troutdale, and Wytheville.


Upper James River Drought Evaluation Region: the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, and Rockbridge; the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington; and the towns of Clifton Forge, Fincastle, Iron Gate, New Castle, and Troutville.


Middle James River Drought Evaluation Region, including the Appomattox River Basin: the counties of Albemarle, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Nelson, Powhatan, and Prince Edward; portions of Dinwiddie, Nottoway, and Prince George counties; the cities of Charlottesville, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Petersburg, and Richmond; and the towns of Amherst, Appomattox, Ashland, Blackstone, Burkeville, Columbia, Dillwyn, Farmville, Pamplin City, and Scottsville.


Roanoke River Drought Evaluation Region: counties of Bedford, Campbell, Charlotte, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Mecklenburg, Patrick, Pittsylvania, and Roanoke; the cities of Bedford, Danville, Martinsville, Roanoke, and Salem; and the towns of Altavista, Boones Mill, Boydton, Broadnax, Brookneal, Charlotte Court House, Chase City, Chatham, Clarksville, Drakes Branch, Gretna, Halifax, Hurt, Keysville, La Crosse, Phenix, Ridgeway, Rocky Mount, Scottsburg, South Boston, South Hill, Stuart, Virgilina, and Vinton.


Appomattox River Basin: all or parts of the counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward, and Prince George; the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg; and the towns of Appomattox, Blackstone, Burkeville, and Farmville.


Drought watches are intended to increase awareness of conditions, and encourage preparation for a drought event. Water conservation activities are typically implemented in the next stage, which is a drought warning.


If you have questions about your drought protection and coverage, contact your Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance agent today.

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