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State of emergency declared in drought-hit Allegany County


Saying that Allegany County residents need "immediate relief," Gov. Parris N. Glendening declared a state of emergency there yesterday because of severe drought conditions that have led to a water supply crisis throughout much of the Western Maryland subdivision.

Authorities report that the water shortage is most severe in the Georges Creek and Mount Savage watershed, with the last significant rainfall -- 1.5 inches -- occurring in mid-September.

ZTC Virtually no rain fell west of Cumberland in November. A trace has fallen since Oct. 10. Rainfall has been below average every month since July. In that period, about 8 inches of rain has fallen, a little more than half the average.

According to the National Weather Service, the next 90 days are expected to be dry as well, causing water supplies in the Lonaconing and Carlos-Shaft water systems to reach critical lows.

Noting that Allegany County officials are preparing a request for assistance to be reviewed by the state, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said: "The state is ready to provide whatever resources will help bring relief."

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency, which has been touch with the Allegany County commissioners since the body voted to seek disaster relief last week, is waiting for the county to submit a complete list of needed resources.

"It might be water, technical assistance, cash, whatever," said Butch Kinerney, a MEMA spokesman. "Probably most of what they need right now is money to pay [workers] manning emergency fire hoses overtime." The list should be submitted by Monday, he said.

Pub Date: 12/11/98

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