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Parkland could be in for more severe weather

PARK HILLS – Severe weather could return to the Parkland as early as this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. A front that was over central and southeast Missouri early this morning is expected to make its way through St. Francois County.

“We have a lot of showers and thunderstorms approaching the area,” said Mark Britt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “This morning we have received reports of dense fog in St. Francois County. Showers and thunderstorms are likely this afternoon through this evening. The front is pretty slow to move through the area.”

Britt said temperatures in the 80s can be expected for today.

“Temperatures should stay in the 80s through the first part of next week,” Britt said. “The thunderstorms and showers should clear out on Saturday. We are looking at winds of 10 miles per hour until the storms get into the area. Any severe thunderstorm can produce hail and damaging winds.”

Britt said even though, the severe weather can produce damaging winds, conditions are not ripe for tornados.

“We typically do not see tornados this time of the year,” Britt said. “This time of year we see hail, strong winds and heavy downpours.”

Britt said during Thursday’s batch of storms, a spotter in Park Hills reported nickel to quarter-size hail falling in the area at approximately 4 p.m.

“We issued a warning for that storm,” Britt said. “In the past 24 hours Farmington has reported 1.77 inches of precipitation. August has been much different than earlier this summer.”

Britt said in June Farmington reported .19 of an inch of precipitation, in July 6.47 inches of precipitation and in August so far 5.63 inches of rain has fallen.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared virtually all of Missouri a disaster area because of drought conditions this summer.

The designation covers 112 of Missouri’s 114 counties – all except Atchison and Holt. The designation makes qualified farmers in the state eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, federal grants, tax relief and other assistance.

Gary Cleve with the United States Department of Agriculture local office said the declaration will mean immediate low-interest loans for farmers.

“I know it’s not what most farmers are looking for right now, but low-interest loans will be made available through the Farm Service Agency,” Cleve said. “Farmers will have to show at least a 30 percent loss, which won’t be that difficult to do. We have just learned that St. Francois County and Iron County have been approved for the Emergency Conservation Program.”

Cleve said the program will assist farmers with the watering of livestock.

“This will help farmers who have had wells gone dry, ponds dry up and creeks quit running,” Cleve said. “The water sources have to have dried up because of the drought. This will help in getting water back to these sites. If a new well has to be dug there will be a 50 percent cost share up to a maximum of $3,000. We will also pipeline water from the existing well to the site or even develop a spring if possible.”

Cleve said the stipulation is the water source has to have dried up as a direct result of the drought.

“It has to be completely dry,” Cleve said. “I wish we could just get some rain. With the rain that we got a couple of weeks ago, things started growing again, but has now stopped. The corn crop is done and is pretty poor. The biggest overall effect has been on the pasture crop. The hay crop is 50 to 60 percent less than what is normally is.”

For information about the programs contact Gary Cleve at (573) 756-6488.

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