Drought keeps grip on half the state

The Associated PressNovember 14, 2008 

— Nearly half of North Carolina still faces a drought as it continues to struggle to fully emerge from the dry conditions that have gripped the South for more than a year.

A U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows that 46 percent of the state faces at least moderate drought conditions, with the most extreme conditions along the state's southwest corner. Nearly two-thirds of the state is considered abnormally dry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 59 North Carolina counties as disaster areas because of crop losses. Farmers in another 37 contiguous counties will also be eligible for relief from losses.

Drought conditions have improved since the beginning of the year, when severe conditions covered the entire state.

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