Governor Mike Easley wants cities and counties to immediately impose water conservation measures, if they haven't already done so. This comes as 93 of the state's counties are now experiencing exceptional, extreme or severe drought.
The governor today sent a letter to all majors and county commissioners in counties that run public water systems. Experts say the state needs more than 15 inches of rain in the next couple of months to make up for significantly low river and stream flows, groundwater supplies and reservoir levels that have been depleted during the drought.
So far in Eastern Carolina, only Rocky Mount has enacted mandatory water restrictions because of the drought. Of the public water supply systems the state tracks, 64 have put mandatory water use restrictions in place due to drought and another 53 have imposed voluntary restrictions.
A statewide ban on open burning remains in effect as dried out vegetation has increased the danger of forest fires.