Federal report: Drought impacts worsen across Missouri

The Missouri River flows past the Noren Access in Jefferson City Thursday afternoon. USGS data show the river has dropped by nearly 4 feet since July 1. (Garrett Bergquist/KRCG 13)

New federal data released on Thursday showed the areas of severe or extreme drought in Missouri had spread into more mid-Missouri counties.

NOAA data show areas of extreme drought have spread into northern Cooper and western Boone counties, while Miller and Pulaski counties have been added to the area classified as being under moderate drought. Data from the U.S. Geological Survey show the Missouri River at Jefferson City has dropped by nearly 4 feet since July 1, to 11.71 feet.

The Department of Natural Resources said water districts had until 5 p.m. Thursday to put in requests for emergency financial drinking water assistance. DNR officials said they have received several such requests from northwest Missouri but none from central Missouri. Travis Ginter, who directs the Thomas Hill Public Water Supply District in Randolph County, said his district purchases water from Mark Twain Lake. He said he has not needed to impose any water usage restrictions. Moberly Public Utilities Director Mary West-Calcagno said her city's water supply is still in good shape as well, especially with recent rain.

Ginter said the main risk in his area is leaking service lines. He said the ground is shifting as it dries up, putting pressure on water mains.

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