04/12/09 — County remains out of drought

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County remains out of drought

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on April 12, 2009 2:00 AM

Wayne County has received enough rain in the last few weeks to keep off of the drought scale altogether.

The last time the county was on the U.S. Drought Monitor scale was a month ago when it was listed as having abnormally dry conditions.

Rainfall levels have increased from 1 inch in the middle of March to more than 2.5 inches in April in the area around the Neuse River around Seven Springs, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

And experts are saying that the county will likely be better off this summer than first thought.

"Initially, we had La Nina conditions, meaning dry weather in our area," Ryan Ellis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, said. "Those have subsided. We're looking at less likely drought conditions."

In Raleigh, he said, rainfall is currently at 11.87 inches for the year.

"We are real close to normal, just below normal," he said. "About 12 inches is normal for this time of year, so we're looking pretty good right now. All the lakes and rivers are running at normal levels."

The Neuse River, which is Goldsboro's main water source, peaked April 2 at about 15.3 feet.

The current level is around 12.5 feet -- much better than the 5 feet measured in mid-February.

Last year at this time, the county was in the moderate drought category, the second best category on the scale.

Currently, there are 24 counties in the moderate drought category and 22 in the abnormally dry category. There are none in the most dangerous categories.