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Missouri nearly 100% drought free, Kansas water struggles continue

The National Drought Monitor estimates nearly 1.3 million Kansans reside in drought areas. Missouri, with double the population of it's neighbor to the west has just 36,000 living in dry areas.

Thanks to a wet, albeit mild winter, nearly all of Missouri is free of any drought classification. However, much of Kansas is still mired in an extreme drought. More from Thursday’s update from the National Drought Monitorfrom KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro.

Three months ago, 80% of Missouri was abnormally dry, while 40% of that territory was moderately dry. During a stop last October at the Joplin campus of Crowder College, Missouri Governor Mike Parson said he was considering moving water to southwest Missouri farmers.

“So we’re going to everything we can at the state level to help provide. If that means more water resources, we’ll try to do that.”

Luckily it never came to that and today, over 95% of Missouri is drought-free. Much of that 5% is in Barton, Vernon, and Jasper Counties.

It’s a different story in Kansas, where over 85% of the Sunflower state is labeled in one of the five drought classifications. Almost 35% of it is in the worst category, exceptional drought.

Closer to home, only a small northern slice of Bourbon country in southeast Kansas is free of any drought classification. 99% of the 12 countries that comprise the area are considered to be in one of the five drought classifications. For 89 9 KRPS News, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.
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