While Bedford County is seeing severe drought conditions, it's not yet time to panic

County's two main water sources are still at healthy levels

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – The entire state of Virginia is experiencing a drought, thanks to the unusually hot weather and the lack of substantial rain.

For several areas, including Bedford County, the drought is considered severe.

Look around and you'll see that the formerly lush fields in the county have shriveled up as summer turned to fall; however, the drought conditions have not had a massive impact in the county yet.

"Each year is different, and of course Mother Nature has a way of playing tricks," said Ronnie Gross.

He and his family own an apple orchard in the county and he says the dry conditions are hard to ignore right now.

"No one would like to see it continue, of course. We would like to see rain ASAP," said Gross.

Bedford Regional Water Authority director Megan Aubrey has also noticed the dehydrated ground.

"It is hard to look at the dry grass outside and have concern for that," said Aubrey.

Despite parts of the county moving into severe drought territory, there's no reason to panic yet.

Aubrey said the county's two main water sources, Smith Mountain Lake and the Stoney Creek Reservoir, are still at healthy levels.

"Bedford is a very water rich environment. We have good strong sources that are still strong today, and that is a great help," said Aubrey.

Gross said his apples dodged the worst of the drought since they were ripening when the rain stopped, but these conditions could have been catastrophic.

"Had these conditions been back in May and June and we would have been this dry, we would have had tree loss," said Gross

Bedford County may be able to stand the lack of rain so far, but the people here are optimistic the next shower will come soon.

"October through December, we do have patterns and a history of getting more rainfall. We're all hoping that comes back shortly," said Aubrey.

Even though the water sources in Bedford County are in good shape right now, the water authority did want to pass on some water saving tips.

They include not excessively watering your lawn, and watering your plants early in the morning before the water evaporates.

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