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Third day of triple degree heat doesn't help 'extreme drought'


The drought in the area is causing headaches for many. (WRDW-TV / July 13, 2011)

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday July 13, 2011

APPLING, Ga.-- A family is packing up and leaving the lake because they say it's too hot. It's the third day of triple digit heat, and it's starting to leave a mark.

The lack of rain and heat means one thing: dry conditions. Right now, we are in an extreme drought. There's really very little relief if you're spending time outside.

The sun may be nice to look at, but it's not so nice when you're camping outdoors.

Jennifer Brzozoski and her family were planning to have a nice relaxing week camping at Clarks Hill Lake, but then the heat cranked up.

"It felt like 105, 110, probably hotter, because it was so hot you couldn't even get in the water. Even getting in the water a few minutes and getting out, it was hot," she said.

So now they're packing up and heading home.

"Now we're just going to go home because the heat it getting to us. Can't even handle it anymore because of the heat. So very bad," Brzozoski said.

Few boats were on the water, and only a handful of people were swimming Wednesday at Wildwood Park.

Brzozoski blames it on the weather.

"You know it gets hot in the summertime, but lately its been really bad," she said.

Stormteam 12 Meteorologist Vicki Graf said that when you factor in the heat index values, it feels like 112 degrees outside.

Brzozoski says even a quick pop-up shower one afternoon didn't make things any cooler.

"It was nice and hot and sunny outside and then, boom, we had a thunderstorm and got rain," she said.

And although we have seen a few thunderstorms in the past few weeks, the area is still in the red, meaning extreme drought.

"We still haven't seen that substantial amount of rainfall that we could really use. Some areas saw it for the last couple of weeks, but when only a few of those places are getting maybe an inch of rainfall, it still doesn't measure up to where we should be," Graf said.

For now, it's just a vacation cut short for Jennifer and her boys.

"They don't even want to swim, trying to get them to go out there and swim because they keep complaining it's hot, and they don't even want to go out there," Brzozoski said. "You know if your kids don't want to swim, you know it's hot."

The Army Corps of Engineers says lake levels are down about a foot, but if it weren't for the wet winter, things could be worse.

To put a dent in the drought status, we would need a good, steady, soaking rain. Graf says over the next few days we may see showers, but nothing that would get us where we need to be.

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