Weather Woes

Jul 17, 2014

For some parts of the state, this week brought a respite from the heat, but temperatures have still reached into the 80’s, and people aren’t the only ones suffering.  The city of Richmond has issued a call for help. 

Richmond’s Department of Public Works says young trees are in jeopardy because of hot, dry weather.  Occasional thunderstorms have not done enough to keep roots watered, so the city is asking residents to help out by refilling gator bags.

“The gator bags are those little green bags that are down around the bottom of the tree.  They kind of rest on the ground and are tied around the tree, and they provide like a continuous supply of water to the trees until they are empty – kind of like an IV bag.”

Sharon North is with the Dept. of Public Works.  She says the city plants about 22-hundred trees a year, adding to its urban forest of over 100,000.  Contractors care for trees in their first year,  but in the second and third years, they still need about 15 gallons of water a week.

“If we’re not getting at least an inch of rainfall, then we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

Meanwhile, residents of a Richmond suburb are feeling some relief from news about their lake.  About 28-hundred fish died over the weekend in Western Henrico County, and many feared Wyndham Lake was polluted with deadly chemicals.  The Department of Environmental Quality checked and concluded weekend temperatures in the high 90’s caused the water to warm.  Warm water has less Oxygen than cold water, and there wasn’t enough to sustain the fish.