Nearly half of North Carolina counties in moderate drought

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(Photo: North Carolina Drought Advisory)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Officials say nearly half of North Carolina’s counties are experiencing a moderate drought due to lack of rainfall.

Klaus Albertin is chairman of the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council. He said in a news release issued by the Department of Environmental Quality on Thursday that water supplies, agriculture, fire threat and streamflows statewide are beginning to reflect the lack of precipitation.

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Forty-five counties in the western and central parts of the state are in moderate drought stage, the least detrimental of four categories used in federal drought maps.

22 counties are experiencing abnormally dry conditions, which means a drought could emerge without adequate rainfall.

Albertin says while Hurricane Dorian left heavy rainfall along the coast, almost none fell west of Interstate 95. He says conditions could worsen before they improve.