BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A new assessment shows about 1 million people are being affected by drought in the Deep South, but conditions are improving slightly in some areas.
The latest report released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows parts of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina all have regions that are too dry.
The worst areas are agricultural counties in southeast Alabama and the area just south of Birmingham. About 600,000 people are affected by drought statewide.
There's also a moderate drought in central Georgia near Macon, and eastern South Carolina is too dry.
Drought conditions improved slightly this week in South Carolina and Alabama. But they got a little worse in Georgia.
Mississippi is drought-free. Louisiana has only a few areas that are abnormally dry after Hurricane Barry hit last month.
South Carolina's Drought Response Committee is to meet again Monday to make a new assessment.
At its last meeting in July, the panel left the counties of The T&D Region designated in the mildest stage of drought.
The committee lifted the drought declaration completely for several counties in the Lowcountry, including Georgetown, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton.
Additionally, Oconee, Pickens and Anderson counties remained normal.
The incipient drought status was maintained in 35 counties, including Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg.
The drought’s impact on agriculture was a key indicator in the committee’s decision to keep the incipient drought declaration in place for those areas. Without timely rain, pasture and crops will quickly show stress due to high temperature.