Graphic via National Weather Service

Severe drought declared for most of SWFL

FORT MYERS, Fla. Most of Southwest Florida is in a severe drought, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

The area had been in a moderate drought for the past few months. Only isolated rain is expected over the next seven days, WINK meteorologist Zach Maloch said.

The drought is causing water shortages in Cape Coral’s freshwater canals. City officials are considering the institution of mandatory one-day-a-week lawn watering.

The dry weather has also contributed to several brush fires across the area. Lee County has the highest risk of brush fires in the state, according to the latest data from the Florida Forest Service.

A National Weather Service map shows all of Lee and Glades counties in a severe drought. The same is true for most of Charlotte and Hendry counties, but only a small portion of Collier County is covered in the severe drought territory. The rest of the area continues to be in a moderate drought.

WINK News reporter John-Carlos Estrada spoke to plant experts in Lee County who offered tips on how to stay green during the drought.

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