Quinn’s drought plan to come Monday, but in meantime, pray

SPRINGFIELD — The entire state of Illinois is now officially in a drought, and Gov. Pat Quinn has scheduled a trip to southern Illinois on Monday to discuss the state’s plans for responding to the dry conditions.

Officials at the National Drought Mitigation Center in Nebraska said that Cook County is fully in a moderate drought for the first time this year.

But that isn’t the worst of it. Climatologists on Thursday said two-thirds of Illinois is experiencing at least a severe drought, and far southern Illinois is designated as being in an exceptional drought, the most serious classification.

Quinn on Thursday urged Illinoisans to pray for rain. His trip downstate comes after state officials reconvened a special task force on drought that hasn’t met since 2005.

Quinn’s administration hasn’t released details of exactly what response it is planning to the dry conditions. “Right now, everything is on the table as we work to provide relief to farmers and communities throughout the state,” spokeswoman Annie Thompson said Thursday.

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