Topeka Moisture from storms that blanketed much of Kansas under heavy snow and ice this winter has allowed the removal of 57 counties from the state's drought warning list, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday.
All 57 have been shifted to drought watch status, while just three of the state's 105 counties - Barber, Harper and Sumner - remain under drought warning.
Kansas Water Office director Tracy Streeter, who chairs the Governor's Drought Response Team, recommended the changes to Sebelius.
Stream flow - a key gauge of drought conditions - has improved since last fall in much of the state, state officials said.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 20 percent of measured streams in Kansas had below-normal flow in late February, down from nearly 66 percent in November.
The counties that were moved from drought warning to drought watch are: Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cheyenne, Cowley, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Comanche, Decatur, Dickinson, Elk, Ellis, Ellsworth, Geary, Graham, Gove, Greeley, Greenwood, Harvey, Jewell, Kingman, Kiowa, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, McPherson, Mitchell, Morris, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Ottawa, Phillips, Pratt, Rawlins, Reno, Republic, Rice, Riley, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Saline, Scott, Sedgwick, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Washington and Wichita.