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Sioux Falls Faces Severe Drought Conditions

July 19, 2012, 5:55 PM by Perry Groten

Sioux Falls Faces Severe Drought Conditions

The latest drought monitor places Sioux Falls in the severe category. 

Just last week, Sioux Falls was listed in the moderate range for drought.  But the ever-expanding severe conditions across South Dakota don't stop at the city limits.

Sioux Falls homeowners don't have to consult the drought monitor to gauge the severity of dry conditions.

"Well, I guess we all get our chance and I guess it's our turn to get it," Sioux Falls homeowner Ken Kolbeck said.

Their brown lawns have endured a slow-motion baking for much of the hot, dry summer.

"We've been progressively getting worse in Sioux Falls and all across the southeast," State Climatologist Dennis Todey said.

A severe drought stretching into the city can be an eye-opener for homeowners who can now appreciate the hardships their country cousins have endured.

"Obviously, because there's more people impacted, it starts to wake people up.  For most of the people in Sioux Falls, they're not going to notice the difference other than yeah, things are kind of dry, I'm having to water my grass more," Todey said.

But lawns might have to do with less water as the drought progresses.  The Big Sioux River is down, but holding its own, for now.

"And if we don't get some rainfall within the next few weeks, certainly the Big Sioux could fall off and the city could have to put in more watering restrictions," Todey said.

"We'll just have to stop watering if there's no more water if it gets too low," Kolbeck said.

To make matters worse, the calendar isn't cooperating with homeowners waiting for a healthy dose of rain to restore some green to their lawns.

"This is a hard time of year to emerge from drought because climatologically, this is the time of year when we get less precipitation," Todey said.

Todey says it could be early fall before we finally get a break in the weather pattern that produces enough rain to revive both lawns and farm fields.

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