Rain Likely Won't Make A Dent In Drought

According to officials with the National Weather Service, levels for lakes and rivers in east Mississippi and west Alabama are now probably at their lowest point ever. Despite recent rain, they say do not expect any major relief any time soon.

"Given the fact that we're going to have possibly four to five inches over the next 48 hours, but that's just a drop in the bucket," said John Baxter of the National Weather Service. "We're running about 19 to 20 inches behind for the year."

Three of Okatibbee Lake's five fishing areas are already closed and officials say another one could be forced to do the same soon.

"It depends on the rain, but it could be two or three weeks and we could be closing the west bank," said Jack Huntley of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Instead of things getting better, Baxter says it appears that they could get worse.

"The long range forecast for the winter this year is for drier than normal conditions," Baxter said.

For the past three years, officials with the National Weather Service say we have experienced relatively warm winters, thus leading to fewer insects dying.

With another warm winter expected this year, coupled with the lingering drought conditions, officials say more of these insects could start looking for alternate water sources, possibly even in and around your house.

Baxter says if things do not change within the next six months, residents in the twin states could have to face the same water restrictions that residents in Atlanta are now having to face.

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