The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced yesterday after a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force that drought watch has been lifted for five counties and hydrologic conditions are normal statewide. Drought watch has been lifted for Carbon, Luzerne, Northampton, Potter, and Schuylkill counties. Palmerton Municipal Water Authority in Carbon County remains on voluntary restrictions, but groundwater indicators for that county have returned to normal and precipitation has been sufficient to support groundwater recharge. To determine drought conditions, the DEP drought coordinator assesses information from public water suppliers and data on four indicators: precipitation, surface water (stream and river) flow, groundwater level, and soil moisture. This is done in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, which maintains gauges in streams and wells in many locations across Pennsylvania.
DEP makes drought status recommendations after assessing departures from normal ranges for all indicators for periods of 3-12 months. DEP shares these data and its recommendations with the state and federal agencies and other organizations that make up the Commonwealth Drought Task Force. Declarations are determined by DEP, with the concurrence of the task force. For more information, including a map of drought status declarations updated daily, see the DEP drought web page.
A 60 year old Emporium man was arrested by state police for making terroristic threats. State police allege Vaughn Lewis left threatening voice mails on the victim’s phone and during the investigation Lewis reportedly made additional threats toward the victim and one other person. The victims are identified as a 39 year old woman and a 67 year old man, both from Emporium.
An Austin woman escaped injury last Friday evening when her 2016 Jeep Renegade hit two bull elk on Route 872 in Grove Township. Lisa Kilpatrick was going north when the animals came onto the highway. Troopers did not report on the condition of the elk.
DUI charges are pending against a Covington, PA woman following a one-vehicle crash on the afternoon of December 30 on South Main Street in Richmond Township. Troopers claim the 39 year old suspect had been driving her 2013 Kia under the influence of a controlled substance.
Ridgway state police say they are continuing to investigate a violation of Megan’s Law by a known offender. The crime allegedly took place at around 11:00 am December 22 on Court Road in Horton Township.