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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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South Carolina Current Drought Status

State Climate Office                 803-734-9100
SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE #08-15          DNR News 803-734-3815
September 16, 2008

Governor, DNR urge voluntary water conservation

Extreme Drought Continues for 9 Western South Carolina Counties.

South Carolina Drought Map for September 16, 2008

For previously issued drought statements see the archived status reports.

Table of all counties and drought status.
Drought Response Committee Meeting Sign-In sheet.

Discussion:

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources convened the S.C. Drought Response Committee on September 16, 2008 in Greenville and nine Upstate counties remain in extreme drought. Ten counties were downgraded or maintained at severe and three remain at moderate status. Thirteen counties were downgraded to incipient status. Recent rains prompted the Drought Response Committee to remove the drought declaration for ten counties: Marion, Dillon, Marlboro, Florence, Horry, Williamsburg, Berkeley, Dorchester and Colleton. The drought declaration was removed for Georgetown and Charleston during the August meeting.

The counties remaining in the extreme category are: Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Abbeville, Laurens, Greenwood and McCormick counties. For more information about drought and to see a drought status by county map, visit the Office of State Climatology Drought Website at: www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/Drought/drought_current_info.php.

David Tompkins with the S.C. Department of Agriculture reported, "The impact of the drought on agriculture continues for parts of the state with significant concern over hay availability for our cattle industry."

The S.C. Forestry Commission cited a 9.55% increase in wildfires for July/August and a 66.4% increase in the number of acres burned compared to the five-year average. The Commission expects to have an active fall fire season.

Stan Simpson, US Army Corps of Engineers, provided a review of the Corps' operation of the Savannah River lakes in response to the drought explaining that Lakes Hartwell and Thurmond is expected to reach new record lows over the next 10 weeks.

Andy Wachob, DNR Hydrologist, reported all lakes around the state are below their target level except Lake Murray. He noted Jocassee, Hartwell and Thurmond lakes were the hardest hit by drought. He also spoke about the steady decline in most Upstate groundwater wells with a well in Spartanburg at a record low and a well in Oconee County near record low.

According to Mizzell, "We are entering the driest months climatologically, October-November, and without rainfall from tropical systems, rainfall amounts during these months can be very low."

Steve de Kozlowski, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Land, Water, and Conservation Division Interim Deputy Director, stated, "Upstate water systems can ensure they maintain adequate supplies through rigorous conservation efforts."

DNR protects and manages South Carolina's natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's natural resources and its people. Find out more about DNR at www.dnr.sc.gov. For more drought information contact State Climatologist Hope Mizzell in Columbia at (803) 734-9568 or e-mail MizzellH@dnr.sc.gov.

Drought Status Table

Current Drought Status by County
Normal Incipient Moderate Severe Extreme
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
County
Status
ABBEVILLE
Extreme
AIKEN
Moderate
ALLENDALE
Incipient
ANDERSON
Extreme
BAMBERG
Incipient
BARNWELL
Incipient
BEAUFORT
Incipient
BERKELEY
Normal
CALHOUN
Incipient
CHARLESTON
Normal
CHEROKEE
Severe
CHESTER
Severe
CHESTERFIELD
Incipient
CLARENDON
Incipient
COLLETON
Normal
DARLINGTON
Incipient
DILLON
Normal
DORCHESTER
Normal
EDGEFIELD
Severe
FAIRFIELD
Severe
FLORENCE
Normal
GEORGETOWN
Normal
GREENVILLE
Extreme
GREENWOOD
Extreme
HAMPTON
Incipient
HORRY
Normal
JASPER
Incipient
KERSHAW
Severe
LANCASTER
Severe
LAURENS
Extreme
LEE
Incipient
LEXINGTON
Moderate
MARION
Normal
MARLBORO
Normal
MCCORMICK
Extreme
NEWBERRY
Severe
OCONEE
Extreme
ORANGEBURG
Incipient
PICKENS
Extreme
RICHLAND
Moderate
SALUDA
Severe
SPARTANBURG
Extreme
SUMTER
Incipient
UNION
Severe
WILLIAMSBURG
Normal
YORK
Severe


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, September 16, 2008
Sign-In sheet
Name & AgencyName & Agency
Nick Anastos - Citizen
Ann Soenen - Citizen - River Bluff Community
Doug Pierce - Citizen
Steven J. de Kozlowski - SCDNR
Stan Simpson - US Corps of Engineers
Charlie Sowell - Greenville Journal
John Baker - International Paper
David Baize - SCDHEC
Frank Eskridge - Greenville Water System
Ed Jensen - Word News
Scott Willett - Anderson Regional Water
Stuart Ames - Drought Committee
Doug Young
Mitch Turner - SJWD Water District
John Shelton - USGS
Eric Strom - USGS
Ken Forrester - SCDNR
Warren Harris - Drought Committee
Rick Jones - Town of West Union
KC Price - Greenville Water System
Jamie Bach - Governor's Office
Connie Gawns - SCDNR
Lee Mitchell - SCDNR
Kirsten Lackstrom - University of South Carolina
Becky Wooten
Ed Hughes
Margaret Richardson - EMD
Lynne Newton
Paul Alongi - Greenville News
Steve Hammond - Duke Energy
John Westcott - Drought Committee
Gregory Lambouty - National Weather Service
David Tompkins - SC Dept. of Ag
George Gallegar - Duke Energy
Nigel Roberton - WYFF
Andrew Wachob - SCDNR
Evelyn Johnson - SCDNR
Hope Mizzell - SCDNR
Brett Witt - SCDNR


Find out more about the State Climatology Office at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/ or by calling (803) 734-9100.

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Columbia, SC 29202