WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The United States Geological Survey says drought conditions in Western North Carolina are even worse than they were last year.
The USGS said streamflow in the French Broad River at Asheville, N.C., has reached its lowest level since 1895, when measurements began. On Sunday, the streamflow was about 121 million gallons per day. Last year, when much of North Carolina was in exceptional drought, the lowest flow in the French Broad River was 199 mgd, officials said.
"Most of southwest North Carolina remains in an exceptional drought and virtually all of western North Carolina is in extreme or severe drought as the state moves into the driest time of the year," the USGS said in a statement.
Monthly average streamflows were at all-time record lows for the months of June and July at more than half of the USGS long-term streamflow gages in western North Carolina. Minimum record streamflows also are being recorded in the Yadkin, Catawba, and Broad River basins of North Carolina.
A monthly summary of conditions at unregulated streamflow sites and ground-water monitoring sites in North Carolina is available at http://nc.water.usgs.gov/monthly/index.html and all North Carolina USGS streamflow and ground-water data are available at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nc/nwis/nwis.