Drought returns to central N.C.

Posted August 21, 2009

— Three drought-free months for North Carolina ended with a report Thursday that moderate drought conditions have returned to seven central counties.

Those include Durham, Orange, Chatham, Lee, Alamance, Guilford and Randolph counties.

North Carolina had been drought-free since May 12. That marked the end of a two-year drought that was the state's worst since record-keeping began. It prompted local governments to limit water use and legislators to require state and local officials to form drought-response plans.

"We're certainly not out of the woods,” said Dee Freeman, secretary of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

He encouraged North Carolinians to conserve water.

“One of the best ways to reduce the effects of any drought or dry conditions is by making water conservation part of your daily routine," Freeman said.

The rest of the Triangle is among 67 counties experiencing abnormally dry conditions, which means adequate rainfall is required to keep drought conditions from returning.

Three northeastern counties saw an improvement this week, as abnormally dry conditions returned to normal. Abnormally dry conditions spread into the Charlotte area.

Twenty-six counties are experiencing normal conditions.


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  • NCSULandscaper Aug 21, 2009

    well it is summer time.....sounds like another reason to up water rates...there is no drought, things are as green as ever everywhere in the state that i have been to this summer

  • time4real Aug 21, 2009

    and the "drought" worsens today and tonight because my predication is not a drop for the triangle. So much for those Friday and Saturday storms! These folks couldn't predict weather if Merlin gave them the inside scoop!

  • christopheremcgee Aug 21, 2009

    I hope the City folks too the opportunity to plan alternative sources of water during the next actual drought. When Falls Lake was low they should have dredged it (perhaps they did, I'm not sure). Improper planning for the population boom is what lead to the last would be a shame to see it happen again.

  • dcatz Aug 21, 2009

    It's not a drought when it happens every year. It's call normal weather. As in, normally, it gets dry in the summer.

    Common sense goes a long way.

  • dmccall Aug 21, 2009

    Raleigh rainfall is at a 3.9" surplus for 365-day rainfall
    Falls Lake now sits at 249.31, 2.19" (of the allowable 15") below normal operation level.

  • SheriffTruman Aug 21, 2009

    Hah! I saw the drought report a couple of weeks ago And saw we were on the edge of abnormally dry and figured the histeria would start soon. Meanwhile I have only let my sprinklers run 3 or 4 times in the last 6 weeks. I have raised bed vegetables that are drowning they are so wet.

  • Nunya123 Aug 21, 2009

    letourkidspay4it - thanks. I thought I was the only one driving by Jordan thinking it was rather low again. The east side of 751 is nearly dry again with grass growing well away from shore.

  • BULLDOZER Aug 21, 2009

    What happened to 10+" of rain we had in surplus from last year? I'll tell you, they don't consider it because it would make their story irrelevant

  • Big Mike Aug 21, 2009

    We're talking overall rainfall here over hundreds of square miles.....not just your yard and neighborhood. You have to consider the water tables deep underground and not just the visable lake levels in the area. How much of that water is being saturated into the subsoils and beyond for crops and future use?

    But I have to admit that WRAL can get folks riled up whenever they want. A few dramatic adjectives here and there and they have the whole area up in an uproar.

    And that gives the local governments the edge against the consumers like you and me. We're asked to conserve and obey local watering laws or get fined. So when we use less water and try to do the right thing, the city water dogs want to raise the rates because we are saving water AS THEY ASKED US TO.

    Duh! What wrong with that picture?

    OK WRAL..what's it gonna be? You don't report the create the news....

  • enderby Aug 21, 2009

    Instead of limiting usage, why can't we stop the influx of new users?