By STU MERRY
Fourteen counties, including McLean, Mountrail and Ward, are now said to have attained exceptional drought status. The dubious distinction is the consensus of officials with the North Dakota State University Extension Service.
Little or no relief is in sight.
As it stands, unless a major storm moves through the Garrison area July will be the second driest on record. So far, only .24 inches of rain have fallen. The driest on record? You’d have to go back to 1971 for that when just .10 was recorded.
According to the National Weather Service in Bismarck, the average precipitation for the Garrison area, January through the end of July, is 10.20. So far this year, Garrison’s received just 4.62 inches of moisture. That’s a difference of more than 5½ inches, or about half of normal.