Hudson Valley under drought watch (video)

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ALBANY – The State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a drought alert for all Hudson Valley counties with the exception of Westchester. That county remains at normal status due to the satisfactory storage levels.

All other counties – Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Columbia and Greene are all under a drought watch. A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories, which are watch, warning, emergency, and disaster. No mandatory restrictions are in place under a state drought watch.

The City of Kingston, though, is under a locally declared drought emergency with unnecessary water usage prohibited.

“This year’s below normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures continue to combine to exacerbate low water levels and the environmental impacts of the dry continues and encourage residents throughout the state to monitor usage and avoid wasting water,” said Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Because of the dry conditions, there have been several brush fire across the region and the DEC says the majority of the state is currently at a high risk for fires, including wildfires.