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Lakes open as drought drifts away

Posted May 2, 2008

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— Recent rains have filled area lakes – and while that's good news for the state's drought, it's also good news for boaters. Two lakes in Durham open on Fridays, beginning today.

The wet weather has placed more than a year's worth of water in both Lake Michie and Little River reservoirs. For boaters, the good luck comes just in time for summer.

During the worst of the drought, ramps had to be closed on Lake Michie, because water levels were too low. Now, both reservoirs can be enjoyed Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The outdoor watering ban in Durham is also being relaxed. Residents are now allowed to spray their lawns on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The drought has also begun to release its grip on the Triangle. Last week's drought map showed the area under severe conditions. A new map out Thursday listed the area in a moderate drought, a welcomed improvement for many.

Johnston County has done even better at just abnormally dry conditions.

Heavier water restrictions will remain in place for Raleigh customers, however. Mayor Charles Meeker says watering just one day a week is here to stay. He says residents need to be prepared for the next drought.

Thirty-five of North Carolina's 100 counties, including Cumberland, Nash, Wilson, Franklin and Vance counties, were listed as being "abnormally dry" in the latest report issued by the state Drought Management Advisory Council.

Wake, Durham and Orange counties were among 21 counties experiencing moderate drought conditions. Twenty-six counties stretching from the Triad through Charlotte and to the western North Carolina mountains were listed as being in severe drought, and a dozen counties west of Charlotte remained in extreme drought.

A slow-moving system that dumped up to 3 inches of rain and spawned some flash floods Sunday helped alleviate the drought conditions across the region.

Almost 4 inches of rain were reported at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in April, which is 1.12 inches above normal, WRAL Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. For the year, 13.87 inches of rain has been recorded at RDU, which is 0.45 inches below normal, she said.

"Everything continues to inch westward," Gardner of the lessening in drought conditions. "Hopefully, as we continue to see a wetter pattern, we'll continue to eat away at the drought."

The region has another chance of rain on Sunday, when a front crosses North Carolina, bringing the possibility of showers and thunderstorms, she said.

The last time much of the Triangle wasn't experiencing drought conditions was last June. A hot, dry summer accelerated drought conditions statewide, and much of North Carolina remained in an "exceptional drought," the worst of five categories tracked by the state until early this year.

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  • ah3000bj8 May 2, 2008

    " I love it when we have people who are not native to North Carolina get on all the blogs and message boards to complain about everything from Schools to lawn watering or whatever the topic of the day maybe. " ..... Who are you talking about ? I used to camp next to the river right where they now take the water out of the lake ( before the lake was built ). How long you been here ? I think we have the right to complain when the inmates appear to be in charge of the asylum !

  • ah3000bj8 May 2, 2008

    Hi Dr. J., I think we actually are agreeing. I will take the blame for trying to quote a previous post without putting " " around the previous post before starting my ...... Comments . I am used to quotes being automatically highlighted without the " ".

  • personality May 2, 2008

    I love it when we have people who are not native to North Carolina get on all the blogs and message boards to complain about everything from Schools to lawn watering or whatever the topic of the day maybe.

    North Carolinians are very friendly and open to new ideas and people who have moved to North Carolina from other areas, however, we also think if your not happy here in North Carolina you should, and have the right, to move somewhere else.

    I wish you well and hope the next stop in your journey is better than some project North Carolina to be.

    Have a good day and weekend :)
    North Carolina for life......

  • Escaped ftom Wake May 2, 2008

    Well lets see it has been two months with out a trace of rain, We are coming into the driest two months of the year. Sprinklers and drip system are watering the grass and plants. The pool is full and the kids swim almost every night. Water rates are cheaper than we paid in back in NC. Where did we move to?
    Phoenix, Arizona....

  • veyor May 2, 2008

    Pretty soon the rates will go up, then in a couple of weeks, presto, we'll be able to water again.

  • billybob72 May 2, 2008

    Looked at the latest Drought Management Advisory map and only a small portion of southwest Wake County has "Moderate Drought" conditions, while the rest of Wake is "Abnormally Dry". I don't think this article is accurate listing Wake as "Moderate Drought".

  • DrJ May 2, 2008

    ah3000bj8, you're just flat wrong. Have you actually ever been on the Neuse downstream from the Lake? The amount of water being released was supposedly tightened a bit, but the river level is unaffected. And don't continue to fool yourself. The towns downstream are getting every bit of water they need, and the excess of fresh water is still being WASTED right into the ocean!

    Uggghhh. It is so tiring trying to explain the nonsense of "saving" water, when there's no place to keep it!!!!!

  • ah3000bj8 May 2, 2008

    " Has Meeker taken credit yet? " ................................
    No, he is too busy figuring out to collect more money from us in our water bills so he can have some " walkin around money " to get his pet " commuter train that doesn't go to the airport " built. Did you know he kept his " train expert " on the Raleigh payroll even the Federal Government already told him that " this doesn't make any sense for Raleigh " ? We all know how easily the FEDs hand out money for any lame purpose. Meeker's grand light rail plan must have as many holes as swiss cheese in order to get rejected for Federal funding ! But he is a very dedicated socialist and hasn't given up the train idea yet. I guess his plan for the train matched his plan on the management of the water in falls lake. .. If they make a mistake in locating a bus stop, they can simply move it to the right place. Cost to you and I = $ 00.00 . If they make a mistake in locating a train station/ track route.. Cost to us = $ Millions !

  • sillyone. May 2, 2008

    bubba burgers abd budlight are already packed and ready to go

  • PaulRevere May 2, 2008

    Has Meeker taken credit yet?

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