Rocky Mount, N.C. — While much of the state is in a moderate drought, leaders in Nash County said their situation is much worse.
“If it doesn't rain pretty soon, I fully expect the (city) manager to declare a water emergency,” said Paul Blount, Rocky Mount’s water resource manager.
Rocky Mount water officials say the Tar River Reservoir, which feeds the city's water supply, has dropped to nearly half of what it should be. The level dropped about 3.5 feet in just the last month, leaving many boats high and dry.
The city closed some boat ramps as a safety precaution.
“The people who just come out here, that live close by, that don't have beach homes, don't have lake homes – it's really devastating for them, because there is really nowhere else they can go,” said Rocky Mount resident John Bryant Jr.
Bryant brings his dog to the reservoir nearly every day. In some parts, he said, the water is 8 feet below normal.
“I’ve seen it drier, but the way the weather is going to be in the next week, it’s probably going to drop another 4 feet,” he said.
The dam at the reservoir, usually covered with a wall of water, is bone dry. Last month, the city asked people to conserve, voluntarily. Blount said he doesn't think a lack of conservation is the biggest problem.
“Pray for rain,” he said. “That’s what we need.”