Southwest Florida so dry that canals, wells, pumps, lawn watering are concerns
As Southwest Florida is gripped by a particularly dry season and residents are urged to conserve water, some municipalities are more affected by the relatively sparse rainfall and low water levels than others, officials say.
As of Friday, the Southwest coast area of the South Florida Water Management District — which includes large parts of Collier and Lee County — received only 5.46 inches of rain, said Randy Smith, a district spokesman. That's only 45 percent of what the area usually would receive during an average dry season, which runs from Nov. 1 through May 31, he said.
"It got less than half the rain that you normally would have," Smith said.
To make matters worse, Southwest Florida's dry spell has parched the area's woods, leaving wildfires with plenty of sun-baked brush to fuel their rage. Two large blazes in Collier torched thousands of acres in March and April and razed eight homes. A 400-acre fire in Lehigh Acres last week also destroyed or damaged structures.