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California governor declares drought emergency in 2 Northern California counties

Gov. Newsom traveled to Mendocino County to announce how the state plans support vulnerable communities impacted by drought conditions.

MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. — After two years of well below average rain and snow, California is entering its long, dry season with little chance to see significant improvement until the next rainy season in October. 

As of Thursday, April 22, 50% of the state is considered in extreme drought. 5% of the state is considered exceptional, the highest level of drought in California. During the peak of the last drought, 58% of the state was listed as being in exceptional drought. 

Lakes and reservoirs remain low, with most well below average. Lake waters will rise with the spring melt, but not as much as a normal year because snowpack for most of the state is also well below average.

On Wednesday, Gov. Newsom traveled to Mendocino County, to discuss the state’s response to these continued dry conditions in California and how the state will support vulnerable communities.

The governor declared an emergency executive order in two Northern California counties in response to particularly bad drought conditions there. Wednesday’s announcement affects Mendocino and Sonoma counties. It comes as California is expected to face another devastating wildfire season after a winter with little precipitation. 

The state Department of Water Resources says this is the fourth driest year on record statewide, especially in the northern two-thirds of the state. Newsom noted that three-quarters of the western United States are in what's called a megadrought.

Re-watch the event on the ABC10's Facebook page.


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