A drought that is spreading across the country has made its way to the Quad Cities as well as our area’s southern hometowns.
On Thursday, August 29th, 2013, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported most of our area is abnormally dry. However, there’s one part where crops and livestock are the thirstiest they’ve ever been in more than 11 decades.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Burlington, Iowa is on track to have its driest summer in 115 years – since 1898. In addition, Burlington has also had its wettest spring in 115 years.
“It’s taking a toll on everything… everybody and everything,” says Jeff Tuengate, a local farmer and an Assistant Manager at Huffman’s Home and Farm in West Burlington.
Jeff says it’s both good and bad for business. He says his shelves are stocked with the popular late-summer items like hydraulic and motor oils as well as tarps, but with no rain since July 30th in Burlington, customers are spending their money on other things, like seeds and water tanks. In fact, Jeff says water tank sales have doubled.
“They’ve been more popular the last two years because of the drought,” says Jeff. “If something breaks, you have to have it. When it’s hot like this, you have to have water. The ponds are going dry, so they’re picking up valves and tanks and whatever else to do your every day watering and try to keep things going.”
The U.S. Drought Monitor says portions of the Midwest may have one of the driest Augusts on record.
However, Jeff says he’s optimistic.
“It is what it is and we’ll deal with it. We have for years.”
Jeff says he does not think we’ll start to see the impact of Burlington’s lack of rain or this drought until October or November.