Polk no longer experiencing drought

Published 6:54 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rain in recent months, mostly in December and January, has brought Polk County out of drought conditions for the first time since June 2011.
According to the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council, Polk is currently in the abnormally dry classification.
The county saw consistent rainfall since the first of December 2011 and has had several days in January and February with steady rainfall.
The heaviest rain in recent history came on Dec. 6, 2011, when 1.9 inches fell in Tryon. Another 0.41 inches fell on Dec. 7, 2011. Between Jan. 18 and Jan. 25,  Tryon recorded almost another 1.5 inches of rainfall. Tryon has seen less than 0.2 inches of rain since the beginning of February.
Polk County has been listed as abnormally dry since Dec. 13 and was listed in moderate drought from late October to December, according to the drought monitor.
Between Aug. 30 and Oct. 18, 2011 Polk County was listed in the severe drought category. For several weeks, Polk County was the only county in the state listed in severe drought, with other counties being classified as moderate, abnormally dry or with no classification.
The last time Polk County wasn’t classified as abnormally dry or in a drought was May 31, 2011, according to the drought monitor. June 28, 2011 was the last time Polk County was classified as abnormally dry prior to the December 13, 2011 classification.
Polk County has suffered many droughts over the past decade, but 2010 was one of the best years in terms of normal averages of precipitation. For most of 2010, Polk County was not in the abnormally dry or drought classifications. In 2009, however, the area experienced abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. At the end of 2007 and through most of 2008, Polk County experienced conditions classified as severe, extreme and exceptional droughts.
Drought classifications range from abnormally dry to moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional droughts. Exceptional drought is the highest classification, with the drought management advisory council advising residents to follow their water shortage response plan, to limit water usage to those that are essential to ensure public health and safety and to prepare for the likelihood of community water systems requiring rationing.
With Polk’s current classification of abnormally dry, the council recommends that residents closely monitor their water supply source for diminished capacity and take precautions to prepare for impending drought conditions.
The state drought monitor can be found at www.ncdrought.org and is updated every Thursday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox