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  • August 2: Drought Is Worst Since '30s

  • Clinton Announces Emergency Drought Aid

    Waterless water lilies are seen Saturday at Bear Creek in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Pennsylvania officials say state farmers will survive the drought hurting most of the Midwest and East. (AP)
    The Associated Press
    Monday, August 2, 1999; 12:14 p.m. EDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) ó Saying the current heat wave has caused great hardship, President Clinton today announced emergency drought assistance for farmers and money for providing air conditioners and fans for the elderly and poor. Speaking at the White House, Clinton announced emergency, low-interest loans would be made available to family farms in West Virginia and several counties in surrounding states, and said other efforts are being made to help farmers get water and hay for their livestock.

    "Itís literally a problem for them to keep their livelihoods alive," Clinton said.

    He said he would work with Congress on a $10 billion emergency drought assistance request "to provide the resources to help our farmers and ranchers to deal with the crisis today.

    Clinton also said $100 million was being allocated to provide air conditioners and fans for low-income families and senior citizens. "I expect we will be doing more things in the days ahead," he said.

    At least 191 people have died nationwide as a result of oppressively hot temperatures since July 19. In Illinois alone, 80 deaths have been attributed to the heat.

    © 1999 The Associated Press

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