WORST IN HISTORY HEAT WAVE IN WASHINGTON NEW YORK, August 9.
Reports to-night from 48 states show that nowhere has there been any appreciable rainfall. The nation is battling with the
worst drought in history, and one which, economically, will compare with last winter's industrial and financial deflation in the seriousness of its after effects. Ten middle western states, namely, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, and Arkansas, have reached a point where nothing short of national aid will carry through a large proportion of marginal producers, who otherwise will be wiped out. It was announced to-night that the rail- ways, under a Federal mandate, will reduce their freight rates on supplies for afflicted farmers. President Hoover's week-end at his summer camp in the Virginia moun- tains has been turned into an emer- gency relief planning campaign, he having summoned other Federal offi- cials for advice. Immediate measures such as those taken in connection with the Mississippi floods for the relief of suffering, and permanent measures for rehabitation are planned. The President has ordered a confer- ence of the governors of the affected states to decide on methods of relief. A twelfth of the livestock and a million families are said to be badly affected. Typhoid and pellagra epidemics are feared in several areas. Temperatures continue high, and Washington to-day suffered its tenth day of over 100 deg., with a tempera- ture of 108 deg. in the shade. No Relief in Sight The Red Cross has announced the mobilisation of all its national chapters for the administration of immediate aid.
If it is remembered that only three States—Washington, Oregon, and Cali- fornia—normally depend upon irriga- tion, in the summer and are therefore not affected by the protracted heat and lack of rain, a fairly accurate concep- tion of the extent of the damage can be gained. Rivers, creeks, and lakes are at a record low level and large forest fires are raging in New England, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and sporadi- cally throughout the country. Fruit and milk supplies have been dangerously diminished, and the maize crop is burning up at the rate of three million bushels a day. The pasturage of one-fourth of the country has been virtually destroyed. Kentucky's famous blue grass has turned white, and its small garden produce areas have been wiped out. It is a record devastation produced in six weeks of so-called dry weather. The meteorological bureaus, more- over, announced to-night that the wea- ther would continue fair and warm, with no relief in sight throughout the greater part of the country. Cities Short of Water Paradoxically the cities are probably the greatest sufferers. The water sup- ply of all the larger cities has been seriously depleted, and many communi- ties are employing sources believed to be contaminated. The health authori- ties are asking that such water be boiled before being used. In Virginia the cities are in many cases using police patrols to see that water is used for household purposes only. The shortage of milk has resulted in an increase in the price, notably in New York, where a cent, added to the price of a quart means a burden of millions of dollars. Fruit and vege- tables are no longer freely available even in New York, which has the best distributing system in the country, prices have mounted and inferior foods are being freely dispensed.