Steady winter rains bring end to SC drought

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A winter of steady rainfall has pulled South Carolina out of drought for the first time in more than three years.

The state's Drought Response Committee voted Wednesday to lift the state's parched status because of above normal rainfall over the past five months.

State climatologist Hope Mizell says the last time the state was drought-free was in December 2009.

Rainfall from December through April was above normal in most of the higher elevations in the northwestern portion of the state. In some pockets, more than double the normal rainfall fell in that period.

Mizell says that Charleston has had one of its wettest winters and early springs ever.

Officials expect at least average rainfall in the coming months.

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