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Lowest Level of Drought Declared in 6 Northeast SC Counties

The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC.

A dry spring has led a committee to declare that six counties in northeast South Carolina are in the first level of drought.

The South Carolina Drought Response Committee voted Wednesday to place Clarendon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties in an incipient drought, which is the first of four levels.

The state and some water companies use the levels to determine water restrictions and other drought policies. Incipient drought is ,mostly for information.

Some areas along the Pee Dee and Grand Strand had the driest spring in recorded history. Florence recorded just 4.28 inches (10.9 centimeters) of rain from March to May, which is just half its average rainfall, State Climatologist Hope Mizzell said in a statement.

The Waccamaw River is running unusually slow. The flow in the river in Horry County was only about 3% of the June average at the beginning of the month, officials said.

Some areas of the state received scattered heavy rain from thunderstorms over the past several days.
Mizell said the drought committee will meet in two weeks to see if the rain has alleviated the drought conditions or more counties should be added.