The worst drought in Alabama is expected to continue to get worse rather than better.
One farmer by the name of George Robertson has experienced his fair share of droughts over the past few years. However this is the worse he’s seen, reports The Huffington Post.
The lands are extremely parched, and there does not seem to be any end in sight for the current drought conditions either. According to some, the grounds feel more like walking on toast than lush green pastures that they once were.
When Did the Drought Originally Start?
It has been six months since the onset of the drought, reports Al.com. The weather in the state is killing crops and now threatens cattle and other livestock. Lakes have been reported to be at their lowest levels in years across the South.
It is reported as an exceptional drought by most meteorologists, and it spans from the mountains of Alabama into northwest Georgia. This area is typically filled with green, thick forestry and moist clay soil. Today, there is little to be seen of what it once was.
Per the U.S. Drought Monitor, areas in Alabama have reached exceptional drought status as of the end of October 18th, 2016. Most of the state was in abnormally dry starting just a year ago, and the conditions continued to decline through the outset of the year and especially into October.
The rain stopped around April 15th, says Al.com. Since then, farmers have been forced to sell their cattle, animals, and more because they lack sufficient hay supply to take care of them.
Long-term generation farmers are seeing their businesses disintegrate. Some have had their family farms for decades, and now they do not know if they will survive the drought or even be in operation next year, says The Huffington Post. It is by far the worst drought Alabama has ever seen and unfortunately, there is no sign it is going to let up anytime soon.
More than 98 percent of Alabama is suffering from the drought conditions. Rivers and streams nearby are dried up, wildlife in the area have passed away, and there have been wildfires consuming the lands—with almost 12,000 acres already claimed to the latest fires, says The Huffington Post.
The south is usually home to an abundant water supply, which is why it is an ideal region for starting crops and raising livestock, according to Al.com. The region’s growth, however, has strained the soil’s ability to hold its water supply. Also, the battles between Florida and Georgia over water from rivers as well as watersheds is still pending its hearing at the United States Supreme Court.
With the dry weather not letting up, the issue of water is becoming a matter of life and death for some.
While the south has not yet implemented the water restrictions used in the West to combat droughts, officials state that they are most likely going to apply similar restrictions if the drought does not let up, says Al.com.