Local News

Most of N.C. in Extreme Drought Status

Posted September 6, 2007

— Latest figures show most of North Carolina is experiencing extreme or severe drought conditions.

The North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council reports 63 counties are in the extreme drought category and 20 counties are in the severe drought classification. Experts said at least 15 inches of rain is needed by Thanksgiving to ease statewide drought conditions.

Raleigh homeowners know they cannot water whenever they want, but the city's code enforcers continue to cruise through subdivisions and spot violators. First-time offenders have to pay a $200 fine under the new rules, but some customers get to water everyday.

Those with new lawns can request a special permit. The city has fielded nearly 800 requests so far. The permit were initially free, but now city officials are charging $50 per permit.

Raleigh's water supply has dropped nearly 50 percent. If it gets much worse, city leaders said they will consider tighter restrictions, such banning irrigation all together.

The dry conditions are also fueling wildfires across the state. In Robeson County, officials have already seen 100 wildfires, mostly from people burning yard debris. A spark from a street sweeper that lost its wheel started a small roadside fire off the Beltline Wednesday.

State officials said more than 5,300 fires have burned more than 30,000 acres in North Carolina this year. The statewide burning ban is currently in effect across the state.


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  • Thomas Jefferson Sep 7, 2007

    I didn't get very concerned about the drought, initially, because it didn't seem that bad. A couple of years later and it's starting to get concerning. If you go out to the water sources and take a look you'll see what I mean. I gotta wonder-why are we still wasting our water on grass. It's so low now I would think that we could conclude that it was getting very dangerous and take more drastic measures than simply limiting the watering of lawns. And by the way, it seems pretty clear that nice green grass wouldn't necessarily be growing here without massive watering. We should encourage more native-type landscaping.

  • oldrebel Sep 7, 2007

    Instead of harping on people watering their lawns or taking long showers, why not release the top 50 water users in each system. I'll bet they're not the local joe washing his car on weekends or little old lady watering her azaelas. Put the focus on who is REALLY using the large amounts of water, even though the "common folk" are browbeaten to sacrifice and do without. It wont happen though, I know. I'd bet each one of the top ten users in each system probably use more water than most residential users.

  • shine Sep 6, 2007

    TODAYS NEWS: As we wander across the "crunchy brown grass" in the yard and admire the leaves falling off of the trees, wipe the sweat from our forehead and go spend millions of dollars studying a potential drought. Of course that is while the rivers and lakes are drying up and wells are running dry and we are cautious about washing our cars and watering the lawns on even and odd days - while we are are observing construction being done on a new apartment complex.

    Tomorrow - we will spend another million dollars walking on our crunchy grass to update you.......... while we are "watching" and "observing" ........ Headlines on our findings at noon tom.

  • jhnewman Sep 6, 2007

    Oh, by the way, Billy Bob Dumas;

    If you want to kill your lawn, mow it now. That will expose the root system to the intense heat and direct sun.

    If you don't mow, and let the grass shade it's self, your lawn will do much better in this heat.

    Of course, the idiots that have "scheduled" lawn mowing service have not figured this out. So they will let the service mow and then the sun will kill the grass and guess who will come out in the spring and replant.

    Yep, you guessed it! The same people who came out and mowed the grass to expose the root system to the brutal sun.

    Go figure. Oh, by the way, you can spell Dumas with two "s's" if you want to get the full effect of this stupidity.

  • dogeatdog Sep 6, 2007

    "Did you know we are in a drought?" the man asked his neighbor as they walked on the crisp, brown grass out to the corn field where the stalks were not even chest high. DUH!

  • Sound Tech Sep 6, 2007

    Localyokal - if you were really local you would know that the current drought is not really effecting tobacco at all. This plant needs plenty of water during the first couple of months when it is planted but after that it will almost out survive a cactus.

  • All child molesters should die Sep 6, 2007

    I got very irritated today! Upon coming home from work, I saw our friend in our front yard, washing his vehicle!! I about blew a gasket! We don't wash our cars, water our new LC trees, or do any watering, outside! Here he was, washing away! My husband had no idea he was doing that. The friend did it, without asking, first! We live in the County and we do have well, all the more reason, NOT to water!!!

    I think we should all try to conserve. I know it's hard, but right now, things are really bad! Maybe we'll get some much needed rain, later this weekend!


  • smegma Sep 6, 2007

    and in other news, there is no news today so we'll talk about nothing new

  • LocalYokel Sep 6, 2007

    that reminds me, I need to water my plants tonight. I have a well though. I think its a good thing that the tobacco has died as reported below - at least now it cant kill or sicken any people.

  • ltbarkley Sep 6, 2007

    Tarheel1980 - "Can anyone explain why it will take 15 inches of rain to get out of the drought when we are 6.29 inches below normal for the year???"

    Its because this drought didn't start this year. We have been in drought conditions for several years now, it just keeps getting worse each year.. And seeingthru - yes, I think we have expanded too quickly, but that doesn't help the fact that we have had no rain. A drought is a drought, with or without over-expansion. The crops aren't dying because we have too many people, they are dying because it hasn't rained enough. Hopefully this storm off the coast will bring some much-needed rain.