UNDATED -- More of Stearns County is now listed as being in an extreme drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor updated its weekly conditions Thursday morning.

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor

They say 18.5 percent of the state is now in an extreme drought including the western half of Stearns County, all of Morrison and Todd Counties, and areas to the north.  Last week it was just four percent of the state.

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Seventy-two percent of the state is in a severe drought, and nearly the entire state is at least in a moderate drought. That's up from last week when 52% of the state was considered to be in severe drought.

Waite Park officials are enforcing a total water ban effective Wednesday, due to the ongoing drought.  St. Joseph officials say they are also implementing a water ban effect Friday.

St. CloudSartell, and Sauk Rapids don't have a water ban at this time, but are encouraging residents to help conserve water to help to avoid further restrictions.

The move is in conjunction with The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Statewide Drought Plan because more than 50% of the state is in a severe drought.

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