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Increased drought restrictions affect Forsyth County
Among 52 counties included
drought1 WEB
Lake levels continue to drop as the the Georgia Environmental Protection Division declared Thursday it raised the states drought response to level 2 in Forsyth. - photo by FCN file photo

Forsyth County is now in a Level 2 Drought Response, which means:

• Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may outdoor landscape water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.
• Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.

Prohibited outdoor water use includes:

• Washing hard surfaces, like streets and sidewalks
• Water for ornamental purposes like fountains
• Using fire hydrants except for firefighting and public safety
• Non-commercial vehicle washing
• Non-commercial pressure washing
• Fundraising car washes

(Source: Georgia Environmental Protection Division)

Smoke lingering in area

• Smoke from north Georgia wildfires will continue to impact most of north and parts of central Georgia, with north to northeast winds developing to blow the smoke eastward.
• People who are sensitive to smoke and people with heart or lung disease should limit their outdoor exposure.

(Source: National Weather Service)

FORSYTH COUNTY -- The Georgia Environmental Protection Division declared Thursday it raised the state’s drought response to level 2 in 52 counties, including Forsyth.

The decision was made in light of fires continuing to burn in north Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, smoke coating surrounding areas, worsening drought conditions in about three-fourths of the state and water supply concerns in some areas, according to EPD Director Richard Dunn in a news release.

“Today’s declaration is driven by an extended period of little or no rain and increasing dryness in the impacted areas,” he said. “What’s more, there is little hope for relief as weather forecasters expect an unusually warm, dry winter across most of the state.”

This week marks the 24th week of continuous severe drought in northwest Georgia, the 22nd for the metro Atlanta area, the 21st in northeastern parts of the state and the 15th in central Georgia.

A swath of northwest and north central Georgia is beginning to surround metro Atlanta with exceptional drought and has creeped into the northwest corner of Forsyth, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

With exceptional drought being considered the most severe category, the rest of Forsyth and all of Hall, Gwinnett and Fulton counties are in extreme drought, the next step down.

“I don’t see any major rain systems coming in the area in the next eight to 10 days, and even the longer range forecast looks like it will be dryer than normal,” State Climatologist Bill Murphey said Thursday.

The counties assigned a Level 2 Drought Response are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Athens-Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Harris, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Lamar, Lumpkin, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Murray, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Union, Upson, Walker, Walton, White and Whitfield.

There are three Drought Response levels — Level 1 is the least severe, and Level 3 is the worst.

Climatology stations throughout Georgia are recording at least 30 consecutive days without precipitation.

It has not rained at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport since Oct. 17 — the record was made in 1884 with 39 days without precipitation, according to the State of Georgia Climate Office.

“This really started way back like eight or nine months ago, and it has really hit the agricultural sector hard before it hit the hydrological sector,” Murphey said.

He cautioned residents to “be conservative on water issues right now” and to “take heed and make wise decisions on an individual basis.”
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