HEPPNER — The Morrow County Board of Commissioners has formally declared a drought in the county and formally asked Gov. Kate Brown for state support.

A letter from commissioners to Brown, dated April 28, describes conditions this year as "severe" and projected to continue. 

"There is a potential for Morrow County agricultural and livestock, natural resources, recreational and tourism, and related economies to experience widespread and severe damage resulting in extreme weather conditions in the County," the letter stated. "The County is experiencing negative impacts in agriculture."

It asks that Brown issue an executive order declaring a drought in Morrow County and that state agencies, including the Oregon Water Department, operate within their authority to assist the county in mitigating damage from the drought.

The resolution passed by the board, declaring the drought on a county level, states more than half the county is in severe drought and the rest is in moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions. If that continues, the resolution states, water users will have a significantly shortened season for water access.

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