ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud has shut down the second unit of the city's hydroelectric dam on the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River flows in the St. Cloud area have dropped to below 700 cubic feet per second.

This is the first time since 1988 that the facility was required to shut down due to low flows.

The city already shut down the first of the two units back in June.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources updated the state’s drought conditions on Thursday. The percentage of the State in extreme drought is now 42%, compared to 35% a week ago. The eastern half of Stearns County and 100% of Sherburne County and Benton County are now in extreme drought conditions.

Get our free mobile app

The drought conditions are worsening and an additional reduction in water use is needed to meet MN DNR requirements. Residents and customers are now required to limit lawn watering to once a week. Residents are asked to water on the same day as their garbage pickup day. Businesses and institutions are asked to water on Saturday or Sunday.

Earlier this month the city was asking, but not requiring, that you limit lawn watering to once a week.

At this time, these restrictions only pertain to the city's water supply – sand points, ponds, wells, or other non-city water supply sources do not need to abide by the watering restrictions set by the City, although it is highly encouraged.

Residents and businesses can apply for a watering exemption for newly sodded lawns by filling out a form on the City’s website

Watering of gardens, flower beds, new shrubs and new trees, by hand is exempt from this restriction.

Residents and businesses not following the required restrictions will receive a warning notice. If noncompliance continues, a notice of violation may be sent, along with related administrative fines.

According to the DNR, the area needs at least 5 to 8 inches of rain over a 3-week period to alleviate the current drought conditions.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Gorgeous Murals in Sauk Centre

 

10 (More) Hilariously Bad Google Reviews of Central MN Landmarks