Despite recent snow, drought still a factor - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Despite recent snow, drought still a factor

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The drought affected Rogers Orchards apple crop this past fall. (WFSB photo) The drought affected Rogers Orchards apple crop this past fall. (WFSB photo)

Large swaths of Connecticut remain in the grips of an extreme drought despite the recent snowfall.

Businesses like Rogers Orchards in Southington continue to be affected by it.

"Last season was definitely an off year," said Kevin Moriarty of Rogers Orchards.

Moriarty said the orchard was able to generate apples, but they were smaller and less desirable that what he wanted.

So far this year, he said Mother Nature is off to a better start before workers prepare to plant 10,000 new apple trees.

"With this foot of snow we had this year, or, this past week, we're optimistic we're going to have a wet spring," Moriarty said.

Rogers Orchards uses drip irrigation, which is a relatively recently change. It deals with the lack of water.

Other places, however, said they're completely dependent on the weather.

According to the United States Drought Monitor, much of Litchfield and Hartford cointies remain under an extreme drought.

Rain and recent snowfall has helped. However, the National Weather Service's records show that the state was down about 13 inches of rain in 2016.

So far this year, Connecticut is up less than half an inch. Still, there's a long way to go before spring.

"We'll take any rain we can get," Moriarty said.

The Metropolitan District Commission, which manages much of the state's public drinking water supply, said reservoirs are at 77 percent capacity. That's slightly up from December,

State water restrictions remain un place in a number of towns, including Southington.

"It's going to be concerning if we don't have the water that we need," said Tanatha Sycz of Southington.

Sycz said she's eager to start her garden in the weeks to come, especially after an unseasonably warm weekend.

"I can't wait to get outside, I've got cabin fever," she said.

However, she said she'll continue to cut back on water until the advisory subsides.

"I’d rather have my lawn be brown and have water to drink and to cook with and to shower with than to not have something to eat or drink," Sycz said.

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