07/18/08 — Wayne's drought status - moderate

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Wayne's drought status - moderate

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on July 18, 2008 1:39 PM

After another dry week, Wayne County remains in the moderate drought category, state officials say.

Forty-six counties join Wayne in the category -- the most in any of the state's drought categories, according to the report released Thursday by the North Caro-lina Drought Management Advisory Council Thursday.

Monday brought some rain -- "less than an inch," National Weather Service Meteorologist Jason Beaman said. But that is far from enough to change the county's status.

"It's not been real widespread with rainfall this week," Beamon said. "Most locations aren't picking up any at all."

There were a few isolated showers in the area, he said, but they were too scattered to do much overall good.

Still, the area isn't as bad as it has been with the drought situation.

Goldsboro Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear said that the county is "pretty good right now," and actually in better shape water-wise than it was last year at this time.

"It started being much drier much earlier last year," she said.

Rain expected to fall across the region over the weekend could help improve the situation as well.

"It looks as though we are going to have some more rain," Mrs. Brashear said. "It looks as though we are getting back into normal rain patterns."

Beaman said it's hard to pinpoint where and how much rain an area will get.

"It's really going to hinge on the development of a low pressure system that's currently off of the Georgia coastline," he said. "It will slowly drift to the north in next couple of days. There is an increase in chance in rain with that, beginning tomorrow night and at least into Saturday."

With the dry weather, the Neuse River -- Goldsboro's main water source -- and Falls Lake -- the Neuse's main water source -- have been up and down in the last few days with the Neuse at 3.78 feet this morning and the lake at 251.63 feet, a decrease in both from last week.

Even though water relief is coming, Goldsboro residents still need to be cautious, Mrs. Brashear said.

The city is still under voluntary conservation measures, and she said she isn't sure when those measures will change or be lifted.

"We are really just keeping an eye on it," she said.

Last week, Wayne County was in the severe drought category, making the leap from moderate drought at the beginning of the month.

This week, seven counties in the state were categorized as abnormally dry, eight were in severe drought, 25 in extreme drought and 13 in the exceptional drought category.