- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Rainfall over the last few days and a forecast for more will ease drought conditions around the region slightly, but Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening is still expected to impose water-use restrictions.
More than an inch has fallen in the metropolitan Washington region in recent days, and the National Weather Service predicted moderate rainfall last night through today and maybe into tomorrow.
"We're going to see a good rain," said John Newkirk, of the National Weather Service, who predicted 1 to 2 inches will fall. "It'll help" a little, he said.
"We need to get a lot more. It was not nearly enough," said Joseph Hoffman, executive director of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.
"You're not going to recover in just three or four days of rain," Mr. Hoffman said. "It's something we're going to have to have over the next three or four months."
The rain will further delay Mr. Glendening's announcement of a drought emergency for central Maryland, which was postponed early this week.
Mr. Glendening had been prepared to go to Frederick Monday morning to declare water restrictions in Carroll, Harford, Howard, Baltimore and Frederick counties; northern sectors of Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties, and Baltimore.
Instead, because of the rainfall, the Democratic governor urged residents and businesses to voluntarily conserve water.
Yesterday, Mr. Glendening's staff said the news conference will be rescheduled for when the rains cease.
In Virginia, Gov. Mark R. Warner has contrasting emergencies. Northern and western Virginia are suffering from record-low precipitation, but Mr. Warner declared an emergency in nine Southwestern counties because of flooding.
"The whole state of Virginia has been plagued by drought," said Janet Clements, of the Department of Emergency Management.
But more than 8 inches fell during the weekend in Southwestern Virginia, extending west through the Appalachian Mountains into Tennessee and Kentucky. More than 1,000 families were forced to leave their homes, and more than 100 secondary roads were blocked by water, debris and mud.
Mr. Warner called out the National Guard and declare an emergency for Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington, Wise, Tazewell and Wythe counties, Ms. Clements said.
"It's coming on us too fast," said Kevin Hall, deputy press secretary for Mr. Warner. "It's running off so fast. It's not soaking in much."
Although Maryland got less rain, it was a good because it came slowly, Mr. Hoffman said. The rain softened the ground without much running off, which will allow future rains like that expected today to seep more readily into the ground.
"It would be ideal if [todays rain] comes slow and steady," he said.

Low water levels will prevent Maryland state fishery managers from stocking trout in six locations before the season opens on March 30, the Department of Natural Resources said yesterday.
The affected waterways are North Jennings Run and Fifteen Mile Creek in Allegany County; Owens Creek, Fishing Creek and Hamburg Pond in Frederick County; and Lower Gunpowder Falls downstream of Loch Raven Dam in Baltimore County.
Trout that would have been stocked in those locations will be placed instead in nearby lakes and ponds that have enough water to sustain the fish, the agency said.
Ten other streams will be stocked with fewer trout than planned due to low water levels, the DNR said.
The changes affect only the first round of scheduled stocking. Fisheries biologists may make further adjustments to the published stocking schedule.


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