Rainfall received across North Carolina between Christmas and New Year's Day did little to relieve the serious drought conditions across the state. The United States Drought Monitor indicated that through January 1 over half of the state was in an exceptional drought, which is the most severe condition. Counties along the Virginia border and coastal areas are under extreme or severe drought conditions. Governor Mike Easley is asking all residents to conserve water since the first few months of 2008 are expected to remain dryer than normal. At this time almost five and one-half million residents across North Carolina are under water use restrictions.