Local News

N.C. Officials Concerned State Could Be Facing Drought

Posted September 19, 2005

— Dry weather and falling water levels -- it is the cause-and-effect pattern that has local water officials concerned about a drought.

It has been more than 30 days since much of the central and eastern North Carolina areas have seen significant rain.

The result is a watery domino effect: less water is being released from Falls Lake, so, that means the Neuse River is much lower than normal.

Local residents say they have not seen the Neuse River so low since the drought in 2002, although they say the situation is nowhere near as bad as it was then, but people are starting to take notice.

"If it continues to be dry, we will have to start really paying attention to it," said Nick Smith, who works at a water sports store on the Neuse River.

Kayakers have not had to cancel any trips yet, but a low river is not what employees like Smith like to see.

At Jordan Lake the water lines are noticeably receding and at Falls Lake the water level is so low that boats are hitting ground.

The water woes are serious enough that officials say Siler City and Raleigh will likely need to consider water restrictions.

"We'd like to have as much rain fall as we can over an extended period of time," said Woody Yonts, of the North Carolina Drought Monitoring Council.

But that is not likely to happen anytime soon since October is usually one of the driest months of the year.

On Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitoring Council is supposed to determine if the area has officially entered a Level 1 drought.


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