Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Community News Network

January 24, 2013

Dry January leaves drought untouched

OTTUMWA — A light snowfall wasn't enough to budge Iowa's drought standing this week.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows Iowa unchanged from last week, with nearly 60 percent of the state in severe drought. Southeast Iowa, with the exception of a small part of Appanoose County, is in moderate drought.

The numbers have largely been unchanged since winter began, and that's no surprise when you look at historical averages. October averages 2.83 inches of precipitation in Ottumwa, but that falls to 1.37 inches by December. January is the driest month on average, with just 0.9 inches of precipitation.

The wettest month? That's usually June, which sees an average of 5.09 inches.

While snowfall this time of year might shift the numbers for the drought monitor, it's doubtful how much long-term good it would actually do the region. The ground is frozen, making it almost impossible for moisture to penetrate.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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