Hot Temps Force Hospital Visits, Drought Declaration

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Hot, dry weather forced Gov. Sam Brownback to update the state's drought declaration.

All of the state's 105 counties are included. Kansas water officials list 36 counties under a drought emergency; 55 are on warning status; and the remaining 14 are under watch. (A map of the areas appears on the slide show.)

"Dry, windy and above normal temperatures in Kansas have led to a Drought Emergency declaration for 36 counties,” Brownback said. “Below normal precipitation patterns are not only depleting available soil moisture, but these types of conditions have resulted in numerous fires as well.”

Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team, recommended the action.

“The insidious effects of the continued drought across much of the state have caused stream flow in many areas to drop below median levels,” Streeter said. “It is imperative we monitor conditions for the state as they could deteriorate quickly with no reserves.”

The heat also has emergency responders busy with heat-related illnesses. St. Francis Health Center reported seeing seven patients come in between Saturday and Tuesday afternoon complaining of illnesses such as heat exhaustion and dehydration. One person required admittance. Stormont-Vail says it's seeing three to five cases a day. They say many of the patients have underlying conditions complicated by the heat.


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