The Drought of 2012 is not the worst ever, but it is bad enough. The manager of the local utility in Springfield, Eric Hobbie, says there is still a chance to recover well: “The (drought of the) 50s was a three-year drought, year over year. And we did not get the precipitation in the fall, winter, and spring, from one year to the next.”

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Hobbie said the water levels of Lake Springfield, which feeds City Water, Light and Power, is at about the level of 1988.

Hobbie took U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on a tour of his facilities and the lake. Durbin says there is some help available in the Senate version of the farm bill, which the House refuses to call. “(The House) said, ‘We’ll give you an interim bill,’ which is what they sent over to us,” Durbin told reporters at a lakeside news conference. “What we’re hearing from farmers across the United States is, ‘Don’t give us a six-week or two-month bill. Do the right thing and pass something.’”

Durbin said Congress should budget for natural disasters, which seem to be occurring more in recent years.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/