Pascoag, Harrisville declare water shortage emergency


BURRILLVILLE – Residents in Pascoag and Harrisville are being ordered to restrict their water usage starting Wednesday, with water departments in both villages declaring a water shortage emergency.

The news comes days after Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a statewide advisory, noting that 79.5 percent of the state is in “extreme drought,” and another 19.5 percent is in “severe,” drought.

Water restrictions, set to begin Wednesday and in place until further notice, require those with odd numbered houses to refrain from outdoor usage on even days, and vice versa.

The summer of 2020 has reportedly been the 16th driest on record, with only around half of the typical expected rainfall, according to reports.

“Due to this summer’s extended drought, it is extremely important that everyone do their part to conserve water,” noted a release from the Pascoag Utility District on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

If your house number is an odd number, you can use water outdoors on odd number days, PUD explained. The company noted that the restrictions will be strictly enforced.

The National Weather Service has also issued a Red Flag warning today due to critical fire danger. The warning – aimed at all of Massachusetts and Rhode Island – indicates critical fire weather conditions and is in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Pascoag Fire District noted that no burn permits will be issued today, and residents are being warned not to burn outdoor fires.

Dry weather and gusty winds mean that any fires that start may spread rapidly, and become difficult to extinguish.

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