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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 09-04          DNR News 803-734-3815
April 15, 2009

27 OF STATE'S COUNTIES NOW WITH NO DROUGHT STATUS

South Carolina Drought Map for April 15, 2009

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:

Minutes from the April 15, 2009 S.C. Drought Response Committee meeting (.pdf).

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources convened the S.C. Drought Response Committee on April 15 in Columbia. All areas of the state received much-needed rainfall over the past several weeks, prompting the Drought Response Committee to reduce the drought severity level state-wide. These recent much above normal rain events can be deceptive, giving the impression the drought is over; however, groundwater levels have not recharged completely in those counties where the drought was maintained.

The counties downgraded to the moderate category are Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Abbeville, Laurens, Greenwood, Union and Cherokee. The nine counties downgraded to incipient drought are Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, McCormick, Newberry, Saluda and York.

The drought declaration was removed completely from counties in the southern Midlands, along the coast and in the Pee Dee region.For more information about drought and to see a drought status by county map, visit the Office of State Climatology drought Web site.

According to DNR hydrologist Masaaki Kiuchi all 17 statewide stream flow gauges show no drought, "Lake levels around South Carolina are normal except in the Savannah River Basin which is still well below normal although recent precipitation has improved lake levels."

Darryl Jones with the S.C. Forestry Commission says fire season began as a busy one, but he is cautiously optimistic, "We received rain frequently enough in March and April to lower the number of wildfires around the state. If we continue to receive regular rainfall, we should make it through the rest of the traditional wildfire season with a moderate number of fires."

West Drought Management Area committee member Dennis Chastain of Pickens urged the public to look at the broader picture given the recent precipitation around the state, "Certainly we are much better going into spring and summer than we had anticipated, but the public needs to look below the surface and realize we are still in a ten-year drought cycle. We need a substantial improvement in rainfall to recharge groundwater to anything like normal."

Northeast Drought Management Area committee member Mike Hancock from Lugoff-Elgin Water Authority stated, "While most of the drought indices we consider show improvement, we encourage continued voluntary water conservation measures."

"The SC Department of Natural Resources will closely monitor the drought status and if rainfall is reduced the committee will promptly reconvene," said Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director, Land, Water and Conservation Division.

Contact South Carolina State Climatologist Dr.Hope Mizzell in Columbia at (803) 734-9568 or e-mail at mizzellh@dnr.sc.gov for more information.

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 the DNR Web site.

Drought Status Table

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


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Sign-In Sheet

SC Drought Response Committee Meeting, April 15, 2009
Sign-In sheet
Name & AgencyName & Agency
Warren Harris - Drought Committee
Buddy Rivers - Drought Committee
David Baize - SCDHEC
Charles Seyton - BJWSA
Steve Hammond - Duke
Mitch Turner - SJWD
John Westcott - Drought Committee
Marion Rizer - Colleton Soil & Water District
Elbert Warren - Drought Committee
Chris Bickley - Drought Committee
Ken Rentiers - SCDNR
George Lamberty - NWS
Francis Turbolino - SCEMD
David Lodgeman - Governor's Office
Vernon Osteen - Drought Committee
Scott Willett - Anderson Regional Water
Doug Young - Chickasaw Point Property Owners Assoc
Brenda Nettles - Drought Committee
Carol Roberts - SCDHEC
Ed Bruce - Duke
George Gallaher - Duke
Mike Hancock - Drought Committee
Darryl Jones - SC Forestry Commission
Norman Whitaker - Drought Committee
Masaaki Kiuchi - SCDNR
Steven J. de Kozlowski - SCDNR
Jim Wilkowski - Drought Committee
David Tompkins - SC Dept. of Agriculture
Kirsten Lackstrom - University of South Carolina
Michael McShane - SCDNR Chairman
Hope Mizzell - SCDNR
Evelyn Johnson - SCDNR
Brett Witt - SCDNR
Mark Brug - Santee Riverkeeper
Andy Fairey - Drought Committee
Bill Yetman - City of Rock Hill
Stuart Ames - Drought Committee
John Shelton - USGS
Rick Walker - Rain-Catchers.net
Dennis Chastain - Drought Committee

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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