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Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:21

Drought diminishes due to rain

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Last week’s rains caused a downgrading of drought designations across the board in Western North Carolina.

Before the rain, six counties had been classified as experiencing exceptional drought — the highest designation possible and one that had not been in place since 2008. Those six counties — Jackson, Swain, Macon, Clay, Graham and Cherokee — are now in the second-highest designation, extreme drought. Nine more western counties, including Haywood, are a step lower at severe drought. 

Maps, completed by the U.S. Drought Monitor, are updated every Thursday and available at

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