With more than 90% of Utah classed as in "extreme drought," Gov. Spencer Cox is asking for divine intervention. In a video posted on Twitter Thursday, the Republican asked all Utahns, regardless of faith, to join together in a "weekend of humble prayer for rain," CNN reports. "By praying collaboratively and collectively, asking God or whatever higher power you believe in, for more rain, we may be able to escape the deadliest aspects of the continuing drought," said Cox, who has issued two executive orders this year declaring a drought emergency, per the Deseret News. According to federal authorities, some 36.5% of the US is drought, with Utah one of the states most affected.
Cox warned last month that Utah was heading into one of the worst droughts, and possibly the worst fire season, it has ever seen. The US Drought Monitor says 90.2% of Utah is in extreme drought and 97.9% of the state is in severe drought conditions. Faith leaders in the state say they will answer Cox's call to prayer, though others say they wish the governor would introduce policy changes as well, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. "There's nothing wrong with prayer, but it shouldn’t blind us to what we have to do on this Earth," said Zachary Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council. "And the state leaders have been blind to what we need to do in the water sector for decades." (Read more Utah stories.)