Are we really in a drought? Some people haven’t noticed it, but according to local AccuWeather meteorologists we are approximately 3 inches below normal precipitation this summer. How are residents in this area coping with it?
Canoeing and kayaking are still possible along the Susquehanna River, but much more portaging is needed with water levels so low. Creek and pond levels are down, though it’s possible to find some good swimming areas. Roy Vargson, fire chief in Troy commented that it is fortunate there is still enough water in ponds to help with rural fire calls. He mentioned that it is beneficial to the fire department for rural homeowners with low ponds to make him aware of any neighbors’ ponds that might be used if there were a fire.
Beth Eckert, at Windy Acres Produce Market in Troy, said that she is getting less out of her own garden this year for the stand. She has to purchase at produce auctions from areas with more rainfall in order to keep the stand full. Green beans have proven themselves pretty hardy though. They are in their second round of production already. Corn is a big seller at this time and Eckert has found local corn suppliers, which has helped. In her first year running the stand, Eckert is already thinking ahead to next year. She wants to grow more of her own corn. With the help of her father, George Blow, they have purchased a corn planter. In hopes of a future of maintaining the stand with more of her own vegetables, Blow says, “We definitely learned a lot!”
Troy Borough carefully monitors its well levels daily. Dan Close, borough manager stated, “If levels were to drop, we would discontinue bulk water sales and begin steps for voluntary reduced water usage by customers.”
Troy police have already reduced their water consumption by not washing their police cars as frequently as they normally would. They are also concerned about the heat which has accompanied the drought this summer and have kept an extra close watch on their senior citizens, regularly checking to make sure people are properly hydrated. “Just as a friendly reminder,” said Kyle Wisel. In regards to gardening, Wisel noticed how quickly things dry up when gardens are watered during the day. Wisel suggested, “When you water your plants outside, you should water either early morning or late at night.” Police are also concerned about the animal population. They advise residents to make sure their pets get plenty of water and don’t leave them tied out in the sun or in parked cars. Towanda Police Officer John Hennessy‘s K-9 unit patrol car is equipped with a hot and pop system which allows remote control of the doors. It is also linked to a temperature warning system which lets him know when the inside of his car gets too hot or cold. His German Shepherd, Moro, appreciates that!
Bristol’s vegetable and fruit stand in East Troy sells beautiful local vegetables. What’s their secret? According to Shawn Wagner who helps out at the stand, it was pretty hard keeping things growing until the rain came last weekend. But he explained that Bristol’s fields are in a normally high water table area with an artesian aquifer. “That helps a lot, but we also did a rain dance,” said Wagner with a little grin.