Sacramento, California, and the Sierra Nevada have been abnormally dry for the fourth straight winter. Last year, fall began with the hope that the drought would be broken, but it didn’t happen.
With the exception of a heavy rain in December and one in February, Sacramento has been dry.
Last year was the hottest year in Sacramento history, states the Sacramento Bee newspaper. The lack of rain was noticeable in January – which is normally rainy – when just 0.01 of an inch was recorded in Sacramento.
Reports state that the winter did not deliver much snow to the Sierra Nevada. California’s water supplies are reliant on mountain snowpack that melts in the spring and fills reservoirs for summer use in cities and on farms.
A recent snowpack survey showed that statewide, the California mountains have just 13 percent of the snowpack normal for this time of year, states the Sacramento Bee website.
“Generally our snowpack accounts for about a third of our state water supply,” said Brooke Bingaman, weather service meteorologist.
“Not all of the 13 percent snowpack will end up in the reservoirs, some of it will soak into the ground. So the level our reservoirs are at now is essentially what we will have for the rest of the summer.”
Police and animal control officials in Sacramento, California, are trying to figure out who is responsible for a recent spree of animal mutilation cases throughout the city, according to ABC affiliate news10.net.
There have been at least nine cases since the beginning of the year, and authorities are trying to determine if the instances are connected.
It started in south Sacramento in January, where a dead goat and a bag of headless chickens were found. After that, several other instances followed.
Monday, more dead chickens were found in an area called South Land Park. Tuesday, mutilated chickens and a rabbit were found in Midtown. Early Wednesday morning, more headless chickens were discovered along the railroad tracks near 19th and W streets. The latest discovery happened right across from the YMCA building and YMCA child development center.
Gina Knepp, head of Sacramento’s Front Street Animal Shelter, said authorities are investigating whether at least some of the killings may have to do with religious rites that sacrifice animals, according to The Huffington Post.
“I’m hoping it’s not a dangerous situation,” said Beverly Churchill, who works out regularly at the YMCA. “Because there are children who come here frequently.”
The Humane Society of the United States announced Thursday it is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the mutilations, according to local NBC affiliate KCRA.