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Committee downgrades entire state to no drought status

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The S.C. Drought Response Committee, meeting via conference call Friday, has downgraded the entire state to no drought status. This is due to the unprecedented heavy rain this month across much of the state with some areas receiving 14 to 28 inches since Oct. 1. "Most of the 21 streamflow gauges used to monitor drought now have above-normal flows compared to late September when flows were below normal," said state Department of Natural Resources Hydrology spokesman Scott Harder. "As bas as the flooding was for many parts of the state, the dry conditions leading up to the heavy rain may have reduced the severity of flooding in some basins."

The original Drought Committee meeting was postponed Oct. 5 due to the state's emergency response to the historic rain and flooding event. The committee officially met Friday, but decided to retroactively designate the date of the downgrade to Oct. 5. "It is important for documentation and future research that the drought designations timely reflect actual conditions," said S.C. State Climatologist Hope Mizell. "While Committee members were unable to convene to discuss the drought until late October, it was unanimously recognized that the drought ended following the historic rains in early October." The official designation reflects no drought as of Oct. 5.

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