Drought in Maine has officially ended
Some counties in Maine – the southern tip of York County, most of Hancock County and parks of Washington, Penobscot and Waldo counties – are still abnormally dry, a step below the least severe category of drought.
The latest data is a dramatic change from last year.
Summer rainfall was far below normal.
Drought conditions first appeared in Maine last June and by the beginning of July parts of York County were in severe drought, the third most-serious condition.
At the end of September, roughly 10 percent of the state reached extreme drought, the second-most-severe federal classification.
By the middle of October, almost 70 percent of Maine was experiencing some drought conditions, including large parts of northern and eastern Maine that previously were not affected.
The conditions prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare a disaster area that eventually included five Maine counties – Cumberland, Androscoggin, Oxford, Sagadahoc and York.
Farmers in that area were eligible for emergency loans and other assistance from the federal Farm Service Agency.
A small sliver of York County was still designated as a drought zone through last week.
This story will be updated.