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South Carolina State Climatology Office
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South Carolina Drought News Release

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Land, Water and Conservation Division
South Carolina Drought Response Program
Department of Natural Resources News (803) 734-4133

SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE  - September 30, 1999

SEVERE DROUGHT REMAINS IN NINE UPSTATE COUNTIES

South Carolina’s drought has been downgraded for all except 9 upstate counties - Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg Cherokee, Union, Laurens and York - which remain at severe status.

The State and Northwest Drought Response Committees met Thursday morning, Sept. 30 in Greenville to discuss drought conditions across South Carolina and in the upstate.

Recent rains have not been sufficient to ameliorate drought conditions in the upstate where the rainfall deficit since Jan. 1 is still 15 to 20 inches, according to Hope Mizzell, drought coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. "There is also great concern in the upstate about forest fires, many of which over the past month have been attributed to negligent burning. This is one time that citizens can make a difference. Some smaller water suppliers in the upstate have gone to mandatory water use restrictions."

The drought was downgraded to incipient, initial level, for five counties including Jasper, Hampton, Beaufort, Colleton and Charleston. There is still a 2-inch rainfall deficit for the year in Charleston.

The drought advisory was completely removed from four counties - Horry, Georgetown, Marion and Dillon where rains have been sufficient to make up the rainfall deficit.

A moderate level drought declaration remains in effect for the rest of South Carolina. Just in the midlands there is a 7 to 9 inch rainfall deficit since the first of the year.

The long-range NOAA outlook predicts that drought conditions for South Carolina will continue through May of 2000 statewide and that the recent rains are only a temporary relief, according to Mizzell "If not for Hurricane Floyd and moisture from tropical storm Harvey the entire state would be in the same condition as the nine counties in the upstate."

The state and upstate drought committees meeting in Greenville Thursday evaluated drought conditions within the Northwest Drought Management Area (DMA) to determine if a need exists for action beyond the scope of local government. The continued severity of drought conditions in the northwestern region of the state has generated major concerns regarding water supply problems and potential forest fires.

For more information regarding the state and Northwest Drought Response Committee meeting contact to Hope Mizzell, drought coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, at (803) 737-0800 in Columbia.

- Written by Mike Creel -

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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