Raleigh, N.C. — The drought that has gripped the state since last spring is loosening its hold on many counties, according to the latest weekly report by Drought Management Advisory Council, released Thursday.
Although a majority of counties were still experiencing some form of drought conditions, 23 had escaped from under the drought – including six that have returned to normal.
The council reported that six coastal counties – Pamlico, Hyde, Dare, Carteret, Tyrrell and Washington – have normal conditions again.
Abnormally dry conditions persisted over much of eastern North Carolina, including Robeson, Bladen, Duplin, Lenoir and Onslow counties.
Wake, Durham and Orange counties stayed in the severe drought category, but moderate conditions were creeping closer from the east. Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Wayne and Wilson counties were all placed in the moderate category.
A total of 29 counties had moderate drought conditions, and 37 had severe drought conditions.
Extreme drought conditions continued in a pocket of 11 counties around Charlotte.
At the beginning of April, 45 counties were experiencing extreme drought conditions.