Counties along the Savannah River remain seriously dry, despite summer rains that improved drought conditions elsewhere in the state.
The State newspaper of Columbia reports Sunday that the three major lakes along the Savannah River basin remain well below their long-term average levels for late September. Jocassee Lake is the lowest at 14 feet below average.
The official drought status is severe for five counties. Nine counties in the state's northwestern portion are in moderate drought. The rest is in incipient drought, which is less severe.
The state Drought Response Committee meets Thursday. It likely will decide to improve of remove drought designations for much of the state. But conditions in the Savannah River basin did not improve over the summer. Winter rainfall will be crucial.
As of July 19, Abbeville was the only Upstate county still considered in a severe drought status. Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, Anderson, Greenwood, Laurens and Newberry counties were under moderate drought status.
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