An exceptionally dry June forced Missoula Country to go to Drought Alert Status today, July 19. According to Montana DNRC Water Planner Ada Montague, Missoula isn’t the only dry county this summer.

“We’re experiencing mixed water supply conditions this year,” Montague said. “Certain areas of the state are incredibly dry especially along the central, south central and western parts of the state and certain areas are incredibly wet up in the northeast but we have pockets of very dry conditions. Missoula did do pretty well with the recent rain fall but prior to that, Missoula had just come out of one of the driest Junes ever"

Montague says the drought alert status could lead to possible federal aid programs.

“The Lieutenant Governor described it as a way to give high visibility to the continuing impact of drought in effected areas and to prompt communications among stakeholders,” Montague said. “So getting our community commissioners to talk to disaster and emergency response personnel, to then document impact that might be being felt, that could then qualify for some assistance.”

Missoula is now one of fourteen counties to go on drought alert. Committees will meet again in mid-August to decide if any other areas will be put on Drought Alert or moved up to Severe Drought status.