No drought relief from TS Fay

August 21, 2008 4:47:18 AM PDT
Many Triangle water supplies were hoping to get some help from Tropical Storm Fay.

Although the supply is in better shape than this time last year, some parts of the state are seeing significant rainfall deficits and are slipping back into a worsening drought.

Fisherman Corey Bald said he has been catching a lot of fish at the Falls Dam. In fact, the 12-year-old said it's been a great summer for fishing.

Far better than last year when the record drought led to fewer releases downstream, bringing down both water levels and the level of fun at Falls Lake and in the Neuse River.

"You wouldn't be able to catch a lot of big fish cause they would not let the gate open too big, so you'd only catch like little fish," Bald said.

It's true that the H2O situation is much better this year than last, but it's far from perfect. Last August, Falls Lake was three-and-a-half feet below full. This year it's one-and-a-half feet below full.

Public utilities officials are keeping a close, concerned eye on the water supply.

It's a concern that grows with each passing dry day and with the realization we're unlikely to get any rain from TS Fay.

"We're starting to see that same pattern we saw last year, so we're very wary of that," Ed Buchan, Raleigh Public Utilities, said.

Buchan said Jordan Lake, which supplies water to Cary and Durham, is two feet below full. Things are even worse in the western part of the state.

"In fact, they're in much worse shape now this time than they were this time last year," Buchan said.

The area still has about a 50-50 chance of having a wet fall and winter. If it's dry, the Triangle could be in trouble.


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