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July 05, 2012 05:23 PM

From Floods To Drought In Far Northeast

New Effington, SD

The newest drought monitor released Thursday shows rain is needed throughout KELOLAND.

Conditions are considerably worse now, than just a week ago. The percentage of South Dakota in at least a moderate drought has doubled.

New Effington is one of the latest communities in the state listed in the drought category. That’s a big change from last year when people were sandbagging around the school and some were even evacuated because of excess rain.

Even with floodwater from the past still sitting in potholes, but the fields surrounding them can't go without moisture much longer.

"Yeah, they're getting worried. We get through this week without any rain, I'm afraid it's going to start going the other direction," resident Gary Ostby said.

Ostby lives near New Effington. He works at an elevator and farms a little. He has a sprinkler watering his lawn and wants the weather to do the same for crops in the area.

He can't complain about how corn and beans look now. The area received nearly four inches of rain in one shot this spring and that's helped.

"That's kept us going up until now. But now is the critical time when we're starting to look at tasseling corn. The beans are starting to bloom so we're in a critical stage right now," Ostby said.

Ostby expects yields to drop in his part of the state if moisture doesn't come soon. He figures the corn is using about a quarter inch of moisture daily with nowhere near that amount coming through rain.

"Just little showers pop through. But other than that, nothing," Ostby said.

Last year he couldn't even get down his driveway because of so much rain flooding it. This year he hopes at least some rain will come to get his part of the state off the ever growing list of dry places on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

 Here is the latest drought monitor map.

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