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Monday, June 20, 2011 - 8:57am

Waterways Hitting 'Historic Lows'

Official readings from some of south Georgia’s rivers and streams are confirming the severity and deepening of the drought.

Brian McCallum with the U.S. Geological Survey says in readings taken from southwest Georgia’s Flint River basin to the lower Ocmulgee, to connecting streams and tributaries, “we are now reaching historic levels, and if we do not get rainfall, it is going to get much worse.”

McCallum says many south Georgia streams are running dry, with zero-flow conditions the earliest ever recorded.

Lingering effects of past droughts have had a cumulative effect. And McCallum says with the region now entering a normally drier part of the season, getting a number of tropical storm systems to pass through the state may be the only saving hope:

“You never like to see the destruction that comes with those, but certainly we need the rainfall that comes with those as well.”

South Georgia farmers are being especially hit hard. Already more than 20 counties are seeking a federal disaster declaration for crop losses.

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