As many parts of Britain remain under feet of water, Northern Alabama in the US is suffering its worst drought for over a century. It has become acre after acre of shriveled cornstalks, cracked red dirt, and unrelenting white heat, according to today’s New York Times.
On Monday, the entire state was declared a drought disaster area by the federal Department of Agriculture, making many farmers eligible for low-interest emergency loans. “Nobody alive has ever seen it like this,” said Perry Mobley, the beef and hay director of the farmers’ federation. And the National Weather Service says conditions are unlikely to change until the Autumn.
Although the drought is worst in Alabama, it is wilting much of Southeastern US, encompassing more than a dozen farm-reliant states as far north as Ohio and Indiana causing watering restrictions and curtailed crops in Georgia, premature cattle sales in Mississippi and Tennessee, and rivers so low that power companies in the region are scrambling and barges are unable to navigate. There is also a drought in Southern California and much of the Southwest, although it is not so severe.
The annual Fourth of July fireworks are said to be out of the question in many tinderbox areas.