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Drought Still A Concern Despite Recent Snowfall

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you think all of the recent snowfall we’ve had is easing Minnesota’s drought, think again.

The experts say it’s a mere drop in the bucket.  Know those late night ads for vacuum storage bags — full up they’re all thick and poofy — remove the air and they’re wafer thin?  That’s kind of the same deal with our snow fall, said Assistant State Climatologist Pete Bouley.

“We got about five inches of snow on the ground and all that compacts down to about six tenths of an inch of water,” said Boulay.

Boulay says farmers in southwestern Minnesota are also in peril.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Chris Simon Reports

“They’ve largely missed out on any of these ‘Alberta Clippers’ and other storm systems that moved by so they have very little moisture on the ground,” he said.

Out at Lake Minnetonka Motor Sports, Owner Pat O’Flannigan is bracing for another dry season.

“The end of the year last year the lake was so low we had problems with boats that were too low in the water to drive into the boat lifts.  With the lift all the way down, the boat was still not able to drive into it, so we had to help folks get their boats off the lake,” said O’Flannigan.

O’Flanningan, who’s Spring Lake business mostly sells and services Jet Skis and snowmobiles, says low water levels are not only bad for business.

“When the lake gets low it’s tough on the user of the boats because they hit stuff with their props and skegs, they damage the hull in a lot of shallow water that gets sucked up and what not,” he says.

Sunday’s storm was a step in the right direction, says, Boulay but he’s banking on April and May.

“Even with a record wet February, it would be tough to make up lost ground. What we really need is a wet spring,” Boulay said.

For plants and crops he says we need normal precipitation from here on out.  To replenish the lakes and waterways, Boulay says it must be definitely above normal through summer, or we’re in for another year of drought.

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