Deep South drought kills crops, threatens herds, dries lakes

Published: Oct. 28, 2016 at 7:59 AM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News / Associated Press

October 28, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) -- Six months into a drought across much of the South, the weather is killing crops, threatening cattle and sinking lakes to their lowest levels in years.

The very worst conditions are in the mountains of northern Alabama and Georgia. But it's spread downhill and across 13 southern states, from Oklahoma and Texas to Florida and Virginia, putting about 33 million people in drought conditions, according to Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor.

It's also causing wildfires, charring more than 12,000 acres in Alabama in the last 30 days.

The Drought Monitor also indicates that areas west of Leon County in Florida are experiencing light to moderate drought conditions. That includes western portions of Gadsden and Wakulla Counties, as well as all of Franklin, Liberty, Calhoun, and Jackson counties and westward.

The South has historically enjoyed abundant water, which has been fortunate, because much of its soil is poor at holding onto it.

But the region's booming growth has strained this resource and the drought is making it worse.

View the United States Drrought Monitor