South Hadley marina benefiting from drought conditions

The U.S. Drought Monitor was updated Thursday morning and it showed a ‘moderate’ drought in western Massachusetts.
Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The U.S. Drought Monitor was updated Thursday morning and it showed a ‘moderate’ drought in western Massachusetts. Our Western Mass News First Alert Weather team said the last time we saw it this dry was October 2020, but at Brunelle’s Marina, they are actually benefiting from the drought conditions.

“The water’s really clean. You walk on our docks and you can see 10 feet down right now,” said Luke Brunelle, owner of Brunelle’s Marina.

Brunelle’s Marina is located along the Connecticut River in South Hadley and Brunelle told us he is seeing a spike in business as western mass settles into moderate drought conditions.

“It’s been really good for us ‘cause people are out here using the river. We’re above the dam, so we have plenty of water up here,” Brunelle added.

He told Western Mass News that this summer is much different from last year.

“Last summer, we had so much rain. We had the boats behind us out of the water three different times ‘cause of high-water events. This summer, the drought, people are out using their boats,” Brunelle explained.

However, south of his marina, water levels are concerning.

“This is the Connecticut River behind us. I know that you get below the Holyoke dam and into the Springfield area, the water is low down there because they don’t have the inflow coming in,” Brunelle noted.

In the eastern part of the state, drought levels are ‘severe’ and in and around the Boston area, it’s ‘extreme.’ Western Mass News First Alert Meteorologist Dan Brown told us what’s starting to happen there.

“Extreme droughts for parts of eastern Mass., so obviously wells are drying up, rivers are running low, and in despite need for rainfall in those areas,” Brown explained.

So what does a ‘moderate’ drought mean for us right now?

“Folks in western Mass., you just want to kind of conserve water in as many ways as possible. It’s not crazy. This drought isn’t to the point where it’s something we’ve never seen before,” Brown added.

Brown told us we could see some beneficial rainfall in our area next week.