Recent rains drop drought status in SC counties

      State drought response committee meets via conference call.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that no counties in South Carolina are in a severe drought.

      The South Carolina Drought Response Committee held a conference call Thursday morning to evaluate the drought status statewide.

      The committee said Kershaw and Lee counties stayed incipient and Orangeburg stayed the same at a moderate level.

      Recent rainfall allowed for Richland, Fairfield, Sumter, Clarendon and Calhoun counties to be moved down a level to incipient, and Lexington, Saluda and Newberry counties moved down a level to moderate.

      Previously in December, the drought status included 12 counties in the severe category across the state.

      The last time the state was not in a drought was 2009.

      The next meeting will be held in approximately six weeks.