Committee says South Carolina is back to drought free
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina committee that monitors how dry South Carolina is has declared the state is drought free for now.
The South Carolina Drought Response Committee voted Wednesday to remove six counties in the northeast part of the state from an incipient drought, which is the first of four levels.
Rain from several systems, including Tropical Storm Claudette over this past weekend, alleviated the unusually dry conditions in Clarendon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties, the committee decided.
Farmers told the committee the rain was just in time.
“Recent rains have relieved stress on crops. Much of the corn crop would have experienced greatly reduced yields if the rain had come one week later. Producers are wide-open finishing up the planting of soybeans in fields that were too dry to plant just a few weeks ago,” Williamsburg County Farm Bureau Executive Director Blake Badger said in a statement.
The recent rains also helped raise lake and groundwater levels and increased stream flows, officials said.
In the two weeks since the drought committee met, most areas of the state reported 4 to 10 inches (10 to 25 centimeters) of rain.
The state and some water companies use the levels to determine water restrictions and other drought policies.