Drought-busting rain needed across the Tennessee Valley - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Drought-busting rain needed across the Tennessee Valley

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga and surrounding areas need more than a few pop-up showers. The grass isn't getting greener.

"We're having to water it every other day, because otherwise you won't get anything out of it. it's going to all dry up," says cattle farmer Lynnette Cottrell.

 Her neighborhood hasn't had significant rain in two and a half weeks and her main concern is not having enough hay later in the year.

"The fall cut is the one that's going to get hurt," adds Cottrell. "If it doesn't rain soon, it will greatly affect it. You get about half the amount of hay that you'd get in the spring cut."

It has other home owners concerned, too.

"It's brown. It's burnt up. Grass is burnt up," exclaims Quincy Jones. "The weeds still grow {laughs}, but the grass is dead. The weeds grow. So, I still have to cut the weeds."

"My grass is crunchy," says Elaine Cannon of Soddy-Daisy. "I'm keeping those watered, my flowers. I'm watering those, but not my yard. Don't want to mow that."

It's a double-edged sword, making a bit less work for do-it-yourselfers, but also less business and revenue for lawn care companies, working eight-hour days instead of twelve.

If you're worried about reservoirs drying up and your power bill rising, TVA officials say don't worry. They've been able to keep up with demands in worse droughts than this. If you turn up your thermostat a few degrees--but no more than four degrees--while away from home, your electric bill should stay in check.

TVA operates the entire Tennessee river system as one big machine.

"No matter where along the river you are, we can help ensure that the water quality stays good, recreational activities stay active, even if the river level may be slightly lower than normal," says Jim Hopson, TVA Spokesperson.

Officially, most of the Tennessee Valley is in an "Extreme" drought according to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Chattanooga's official rainfall at Lovell Field is more than 7 inches behind for the year and only around one inch has fallen there this June. If the drought gets worse, we could move into the "Extreme" category. There's only one more category after that which is called "Exceptional" drought.

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