Drought
1:30 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Drought Prompts Disaster Declarations In 11 States

Credit OakleyOriginals / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal officials have designated portions of Oklahoma and 10 other western and central states as primary natural disaster areas because of a drought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's announcement Wednesday also includes counties in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, and California.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement that he sympathizes with farmers and ranchers who are dealing with the lack of rain and snow, and assured them that the USDA will stand by them.

The designation means eligible farmers can qualify for low-interest emergency loans from the agriculture department.

Counties adjacent to those that are affected are also eligible for assistance.

The United States Drought Monitor reports that while storms have dumped rain and snow in the east, droughts are persisting or intensifying in the west.

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