Landscape across southeast Wisconsin ravaged by lack of rain
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN - This extreme drought is affecting all of southeast Wisconsin, TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka took an aerial tour in Chopper 4 with Power Zoom.
It's a sight that doesn't get any better from the air, the lack of rain is keeping the landscape more brown and yellow than green.
Baseball diamonds look more like sandlots. Entire subdivisions appear to be built on straw, until you find a yard that has obviously been watering. The sharp color contrast is hard to miss.
Some schools are trying to battle the drought on their football field; Custer High School's team may start the season on green grass.
There are several shades of green in Lake Country, just not on land. Boats are having a hard time navigating to the center of the drying up lakes and the weed cutters seem to be in constant motion trying to eat away at the plants that seem to be thriving in this weather.
Some rivers, creeks and streams are flowing at 75 percent less than normal and even Lake Michigan seems to be lower this year. The algae ripples in on the waves as a result of this hot and dry summer.
Golf courses seem to be some of the only places you'll find green grass. Many like South Hills Country Club are only green on the green, but West Bend Lakes Golf Club is keeping their fairways far from thirsty.
Some businesses like Northwestern Mutual seem like they are spending the money to be the "other side" where the grass is always greener.
Though most of the landscape is painted in shades of brown, lawn bowling greens look more like volleyball pits, rocks are peaking above Lake Michigan waters and even the trees are showing signs of changing color from above.
But it's the farms and fields where the land is in dire need of rain. In Ozaukee County where the drought is considered severe, many of the crop fields look green with brown spots. But further south its worse; even "extreme drought" can't describe one farm near Caledonia, where more than 50 percent of the field looks to be beyond help.
Some fields look like the drought has had no impact at all, but flying a little lower reveals the reason behind the luscious crop: an irrigation system.
A flight that showed just a glimpse of the extreme sight from cloudy height.