Governor Asks Alabama Citizens to Pray for Rain

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Governor Bob Riley is hoping the power of prayer will open up the heavens - or at least bring some much-needed rain.

With parts of Alabama suffering an exceptional drought, Riley issued a proclamation today declaring June 30th through July 7th as "Days of Prayer for Rain." He asked citizens to pray individually and in their houses of worship.

Riley says the drought has created a time of great difficulties for Alabama farmers and communities.

The U.S. Drought Monitor has placed most of north Alabama under its worst classification -- exceptional drought. Much of central and southeast Alabama are under the next category, which is extreme drought.

Southwest Alabama is classified as severe drought inland and moderate drought along the coast. According to the Drought Monitor, Alabama has more area classified as exceptional drought than any state in the nation.

The state is so dry that the Alabama Forestry Commission has barred outdoor burning for 40 of Alabama's 67 counties. Cities have begun imposing water restrictions, and some lakes are so low that piers no longer extend into the water.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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