Polk nearly out of extreme drought area

Published 4:40 pm Monday, September 22, 2008

Polk and other counties in Western North Carolina were previously lowered from &dquo;exceptional&dquo; drought, the highest level, after the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay moved through the region.

The rain has helped replenish ground and surface water supplies, and brought much needed relief to some crops. Cattle farmers, who have struggled to find enough hay during the past couple years of drought, said the recent rain may help provide a critical second cut of hay this year. Last year farmers did not get a second cut and many were forced to purchase hay brought in from outside the region.

Polk is currently one of 13 counties in North Carolina that are still experiencing extreme drought, while 18 counties are under severe drought, 36 are under moderate, and 22 are abnormally dry.

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The latest drought map shows 11 counties in eastern North Carolina that were in the path of Hurricane Hanna and are no longer in a drought or even considered &dquo;abnormally dry.&dquo;

The same is true for many counties in eastern South Carolina. However, Upstate South Carolina has not been as fortunate. It remains the only area in the country currently under &dquo;exceptional&dquo; drought. That area includes much of Spartanburg and Greenville counties.