Dried up

Recent rains and and the odd flurry this past weekend won’t do much to abate the region’s critical drought.

According to a story in the Asheville Citizen-Times, in Western North Carolina, 2007 is set to become the driest year since record-keeping began.

Unless Asheville is gifted with two inches of precipitation before year’s end, the 2007 cumulative rainfall amount of 20.77 inches will handily undercut the previous record, set in 1925. (The average rainfall for Asheville is 37.32 inches, the story reports.)

The latest federal drought map shows “exceptional drought” in 78 of the state’s 100 counties, including the mountains and most of the piedmont and coastal plain. Seven counties have been added to the “exceptional” category — the worst on the government’s continuum — since last week.

Statewide, water-use restrictions have been imposed on systems serving 5.37 million people, or 79 percent of the population tracked by the state Division of Water Resources, according to the governor’s office.

Click here to learn more about the drought.
— Kent Priestley, staff writer

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