"Severe Drought" spreads across North Carolina
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The drought across eastern North Carolina keeps getting worse, and doesn't show signs of stopping. According to new numbers released this morning from the U.S. Drought Monitor, 24.9 percent of the state is suffering from a "Severe Drought". Last week, only 15% of the state was suffering from these same conditions.

The area of severe droughts covers all of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties and the eastern 90% of Bladen and Columbus Counties. Across the state, almost the entire area east of I-95 is under a "Severe Drought".

The Drought Monitor ranks droughts on a scale from D-0, "Abnormally Dry, to D-4, "Exceptional Drought". In addition to one-quarter of the state being classifyed as a D-2 "Severe Drought", over 50-percent of the state is under D-1 conditions, with over 80-percent of North Carolina living under D-0 or worse conditions.

Here in Southeastern North Carolina, local farmers are worried for their crops. The corn crop has shown to be visibly stunted by the heat and lack of rainfall. Farmers tell WWAY their corn should be head high by mid-June; but now it only comes up to their knees.

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Everyone hates hurricane season, but we need a good, soaking tropical depression to sit on us for a few days. Maybe longer. At least enough to tamp down the Pains Bay Fire. The farmers are the people who are really suffering. Bless all of them.