'Flash drought' spreads across Montana in less than 3 months - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

'Flash drought' spreads across Montana in less than 3 months

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The drought that is plaguing eastern Montana came on fast.
    
More than a third of the entire state is now in severe, extreme or exceptional drought after another week with little or no rainfall, according to a report Thursday by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's U.S. Drought Monitor.
    
Just three months ago, there were no drought areas at all.
    
Ann Schwend of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation called it a "flash drought" before a legislative committee this week.
    
The drought monitor estimates that 12 percent of the state - most of northeastern Montana - is in exceptional drought, which is the top end of the scale. That means widespread crop and pasture losses and water-shortage emergencies.
    
That area is surrounded by a larger land mass covering all of eastern Montana that is in severe or extreme drought.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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