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Southeast Colorado remains under a dry spell

By Jonathan Petramala, Weekend Evening Anchor/Reporter, jonathan.petramala@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 26 2013 10:41:59 PM CST
SOUTHEAST COLORADO -

History is destined to repeat itself, and in Otero County it is.

"We're right there where they were in the dirty 30's," said Eric Hanagan, a farmer in Swink.

While many were dreaming of a white Christmas, several communities like Swink, Manzanola, Rocky Ford, La Junta and Ordway, suffered through a brown one.  A huge dust storm swept through the area on Christmas Eve.

"It's just a big mess for everybody," Hanagan said.

Last year at this time the entire state of Colorado was classified as at least "abnormally dry" by the U.S. Drought Monitor.  Record flooding and rain this fall lowered that number by over 30-percent, to 68%. 

 But a small sliver of Southeastern Colorado remains in the highest category of drought...exceptional.  Hanagan farms is right in the middle of that area.

 I'd rather we be plowing snow and I'd even lose my electricity for a week or two if that's what it takes," Hanagan said.

 KRDO Chief Meteorologist Matt Meister says the region needs another "drought buster."

 "Where you get an exceptionally large amount of rain or snow," Meister said.

 Snow this time of year typically won't contain enough moisture to help.

"We do need the March and April snows that is heavy and wet that has a lot of water in it.  If we can get a couple of those or even one of those that would at least help," Meister said.

 For now, history is happening...the kind no one wanted to see repeated.

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