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SC drought officially declared as ended

From the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

-- The S.C. Drought Response Committee has removed drought declaration for all South Carolina counties.  For the first time since August 2006 no area of the state is under a drought declaration.  Increased rainfall frequency and coverage over the last six months have alleviated the drought conditions statewide.  All 19 upstate counties have now been removed from drought by the South Carolina Drought Response Committee.  On April 15 the Committee lifted the drought declaration for the remaining 27 counties.  

“The timing, amount and duration of the rainfall have brought all drought indicators back to normal levels.  Many stations report above normal rainfall since January,”  according to Hope Mizzell, state climatologist.

According to DNR hydrologist Masaaki Kiuchi all regularly monitored streams show no drought and lake levels around South Carolina are normal except in the Savannah River Basin which is slightly below normal.  Upstate wells show improvement and water levels are rising in most monitoring wells.  However, groundwater levels in some areas of the upstate may not be sufficient to adequately support stream flows if rainfall declines.  
 
“Every region of the state has been impacted by this drought,” says Ken Rentiers, chairman of the SC Drought Response Committee. “The return to a normal rainfall pattern brings welcome relief.”  

“Even though we have overcome the rainfall deficit associated with the drought, we are still dealing with some of the long-term drought effects. Several of the upper Savannah reservoirs remain below full pool. We encourage residents of the northwestern areas of the Upstate to continue to voluntarily conserve our water resources. If we have learned anything over the past several years of dealing with drought, it is that no one should waste water," urged Dennis Chastain, a member of the West Drought Committee.

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

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