Rains help ease drought across most of South


Thursday, December 18th 2008, 5:50 pm
By: News 9


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- It's been a soggy December in the South, but according to a federal report, the rain has helped much of the region recover from a two-year drought.
   A year ago, thousands of square miles were considered in "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, the government's two worst categories.
   But the latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows that none of the region is currently in the worst category of drought.
   The report shows Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas are completely drought-free. But it says a pocket of severe to extreme drought persists in the western tip of the Carolinas and northeast Georgia, including a lake vital to the Atlanta area's water supply.
   Eastern Tennessee, most of Kentucky and parts of Virginia and West Virginia remain in at least a moderate drought. Southern Texas is the only area in the nation still plagued by exceptional drought.