WV governor declares emergency as drought worsens

FILE - In this July 8, 2019, file photo ,West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks at a roundtable on the opioid epidemic at Cabell-Huntington Health Center in Huntington, WVa. Records show Justice's companies owe almost $2 million in delinquent taxes in Virginia. WDBJ-TV reported, Wednesday, July 1, 2019, that companies owned by the Republican governor owe $1.9 million in taxes to several counties in Virginia. Justice lists more than 100 businesses in his most recent financial statement, including coal, timber and agriculture companies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Jim Justice has declared a state of emergency in response to a worsening drought across West Virginia.
The Republican governor’s proclamation Thursday comes as large swaths of the state grapple with moderate to severe drought conditions.
Justice says a lack of rainfall has caused water levels to run extremely low, increasing the risk of forest fires and other dangers.
He has asked the public to limit water usage and has directed state officials to implement its emergency drought plan.
The National Weather Service marked last month as one of warmest and driest Septembers on record in multiple West Virginia cities. Less than 1 inch of rain was recorded in the month.
Temperatures measured on Tuesday also surpassed record highs for the month in five cities.