Band of States Struggle Through Drought

From Florida to Arizona, 14 states are in the midst of a major drought. The effects have been far-reaching and devastating to both the environment and economy.
July 20, 2011, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"In Texas, where the drought is the worst, virtually no part of the state has been untouched. City dwellers and ranchers have been tormented by excessive heat and high winds. In the Southwest, wildfires are chewing through millions of acres.

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture designated all 254 counties in Texas natural disaster areas, qualifying them for varying levels of federal relief. More than 30 percent of the state's wheat fields might be lost, adding pressure to a crop in short supply globally.

Even if weather patterns shift and relief-giving rain comes, losses will surely head past $3 billion in Texas alone, state agricultural officials said."

Climatologists worry that this drought could be worse than a record breaking drought from the 1950s.

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Published on Monday, July 11, 2011 in The New York Times
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