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Gov. Deal Declares Drought Restrictions in Athens

Gov. Nathan Deal declared Athens-Clarke and other North Georgia counties to be in a “Level 2” drought today, tightening outdoor water use restrictions for more than 50 counties.

“Today’s declaration is driven by an extended period of little or no rain and increasing dryness in the impacted areas,” Richard Dunn, director of the state Environmental Protection Division, said in a news release. “What’s more, there is little hope for relief as weather forecasters expect an unusually warm, dry winter across most of the state.”

In a Level 2 drought, residents can only water outdoors two days per week—Wednesdays and Saturdays for those with even-numbered addresses, and Thursdays and Saturdays for those with odd-numbered addresses. Watering is only allowed before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. to minimize evaporation.

In addition, water for fountains must be shut off, washing hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways is banned, and cars can only be washed at commercial car washes.

A full list of rules is available here.

Earlier this week, Deal also temporarily banned fireworks in many counties because of the danger of starting fires in dry conditions. Drought-related forest fires continue to rage in North Georgia and Tennessee.