Central Florida’s drought intensifies to ‘severe’ in many areas

Central Florida’s drought intensifies to ‘severe’ in many areas.
With just a tenth of an inch of rain in Orlando in the last 49 days, drought has intensified and spread across much of Central and South Florida, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The monitor’s weekly update Thursday shows parts or all of Orange, Lake, Brevard and Osceola counties deteriorating from moderate to severe drought.
Orlando has not had measurable rain this month and no significant rainfall, according to the Florida Forest Service, since late February.
Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in response to the threat of wildfires.
The declaration was followed Wednesday by Scott’s order for the Florida National Guard to provide a Black Hawk helicopter for aerial water drops on wildfires.
“This effort will help your water supply last through the remainder of the dry season,” said Dan O’Keefe, the agency’s chairman.
Nearly two-dozen major wildfires are active from the Georgia line near Jacksonville through the Orlando region and as far south as Lake Okeechobee.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, several inches of rain eased moderate drought in portions of Levy and Alachua counties.
Meanwhile, all of Osceola and south Orange counties, where theme parks are located, were determined to be in severe drought.

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