More than three quarters of North Carolina is now under drought conditions, and several western counties are extremely dry.
Climate data released today shows North Carolina's seven westernmost counties, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson,
Macon and Swain, face the worst conditions. The U-S Drought Monitor
also says all counties west of Interstate 26 face severe drought conditions.
Local governments across the state are urging residents to conserve water. Some local governments are requiring conservation. Governor Mike Easley has directed state agencies in 12 counties in the western part of the state to stop non-essential water use.