Severe drought conditions plaguing more than half of the United States has developed into the largest natural disaster area in the country’s history. The United States Department of Agriculture declared natural disasters for 26 states and more than 1,000 counties because of the extreme drought that has destroyed crops in farms throughout the nation.
State leaders welcomed a pledge of U.S. aid for the worst drought in decades, even as the assistance paled in comparison to potential losses and a forecaster said weather conditions may not improve in some areas until September.
The Department of Agriculture on Wednesday named 1,016 counties in 26 states natural-disaster areas, the agency's biggest such declaration ever. Substantial rains that would relieve the worst-hit areas may not arrive for months, said Mike Pigott, meteorologist at Accuweather Inc.
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