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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
Statement Date:February 23, 2007:

DROUGHT RESPONSE COMITTEE DOWNGRADES TO "INCIPIENT" STATUS

South Carolina Drought Status by County.
Table of all counties and drought status.

After receiving reports of improved hydrologic conditions, the South Carolina Drought Response Committee voted Feb. 23 in Columbia to downgrade the Savannah Basin from the "moderate" category to "incipient." The Committee declared a moderate drought on September 20, 2006, and maintained the declaration during the November 8, 2006, conference call.

Lake levels in Hartwell, Russell, and Thurmond have returned to near normal according to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, but without normal rainfall may be at Stage 1 in 14 days. According to Duke Energy lake management manager George Galleher, "We had above average rainfall in November and December, but January saw below average rainfall and as of Feb. 17 we are below average. Duke Energy continues to think of the Keowee-Toxaway Area as being in a drought."

Reports from forestry and agriculture were cautiously optimistic. According to David Tompkins with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Soil moisture is in good shape going into the spring, however, we are dependent on adequate rainfall during the growing season." Darryl Jones with the SC Forestry Commission reported the state is experiencing an average number of fires, but, "We're just beginning the fire season with another month and half or so ahead of us. We're busy, but not abnormally so."

"In the process of moving from moderate to incipient, the DNR will increase its monitoring and notify the members of the committee in two week intervals about levels, flows, and rainfalls," said Alfred Vang, director of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Land, Water and Conservation Division. “If there is a trend that appears to be negative, then we would call a meeting of the committee."

"We want to maintain our vigilance in monitoring this situation," said State Hydrologist Bud Badr. "Especially as we are beginning to move into the normally drier or reduced rainfall period of the year in South Carolina."


Drought Status Table

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


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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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