2009-04-01 / Front Page

Lots more rain in forecast, but drought lingers

By LARRY HILLIARD Ledger Staff Writer larry@gaffneyledger.com

You know what they say about April showers.

According to the National Weather Service, we should be getting plenty of them over the next week or so.

"We have other systems heading this way over the next seven to eight days," National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Taylor said.

Rain was expected to begin Tuesday night and continue through much of Wednesday. Another wet weather producing-system will enter the area Thursday or Friday, according to Taylor.

Keep those umbrellas handy because more rain is expected Sunday and Monday.

"The systems are forming over the central plains and coming in one after another," he said.

Although the rain is surely welcome, it's not putting that much of a dent in the drought. Despite the wet weather last month, the area is still an inch below normal rainfall amounts for the year, Taylor said.

Since January 2008, the area is about 13 inches below normal rainfall totals.

Cherokee County remains in severe-drought status.

"The rain helps but we are still in a drought," Gaffney Board of Public Works General Manager Donnie Hardin said. "We are only about an inch behind for the year but we were way behind in 2007 and 2008. It will take a while before the underground streams are replenished."

But Kim Fortner, BPW operations engineer, said she wouldn't be surprised if the recent wet weather will persuade the Drought Response Committee to change the county's drought status from severe to moderate.

The committee will meet April 15 in Columbia.

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