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Md. Leaders Ask Residents To Conserve Water As Drought Worsens

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The drought affecting most of Maryland could get worse, and many people are already feeling the pain. The dry conditions are back this week causing problems we normally don’t see until summertime.

Monique Griego has more on the warning they have for residents.

The rain we had on Wednesday didn’t do much to help the drought. State leaders say we’re still in desperate need of a serious downpour.

Breakouts of brush fires are just one indication dry conditions in Maryland are nearing a dangerous level.

“We are seeing indicators in all regions that are showing the conditions worsening,” Jay Apperson of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) said.

Apperson says while Wednesday’s drizzle fogged up Sky Eye Chopper 13, it didn’t put much– if any– dent in the rain deficit. Eastern Maryland is still under a drought watch.

“When we got a watch status, that increased our monitoring of water conditions not only in eastern regions,” Apperson said.

They are watching Baltimore where streams and reservoirs are low and vegetation is dry. Apperson says the trees and plants are paying for our lack of snow.

This winter, less than two inches fell. On average, we receive around 20.

“So that’s why we’re seeing what we’re seeing this spring,” Apperson explained.

It’s pretty normal to experience a drought during the hot summer months like June or July, but this year, conditions came early.

“It’s kind of like we skipped spring and went right to summer with the dryness of the whole situation,” Michelle Betley of Poor Boy’s Garden Center said.

Betley says no rain means more insects, and they’ll eat up your plants if the sun doesn’t dry them out first.

“Monitor your plants, keep an eye on them,” she said.

While there are no water restrictions in place just yet, Apperson is asking people to conserve until the rain comes.

“Hopefully, we get it and keep conditions from getting worse and perhaps even get us out of this situation,” he said.

If we don’t get that rain soon, state leaders say water restrictions could be next.

The last time we received a drought watch this early was in 2008. That summer we reached emergency levels.

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