drought

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has unseated its chief, accusing him of using his office for personal gain. Meanwhile, a South Carolina man who kept a woman chained in a storage container for two months has pleaded guilty to killing seven people over 13 years. And a woman has been extradited to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office to face charges related to the murder of a 25-year-old man in April. Afternoon headlines on WFAE.

Crews are treating roads with salt brine and attaching snowplows to trucks ahead of what could be the region's first snowstorm of 2017. As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service (NWS) predicts between four to six inches of snow could fall between Friday night and Saturday morning, though that could change.

As dry conditions move east from North Carolina's mountains, five counties are now in an 'exceptional' drought - the highest level as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

State officials say exceptional drought has now spread to Graham, Macon, and Swain counties, joining them with Cherokee and Clay counties. More than 40 percent of North Carolina is now in some stage of drought, up from 30 percent last week.

Catherine Muccigrosso / LakeWyliePilot.com

Updated 4:50 p.m.
Many of the boat ramps on Lake Wylie and Lake Norman are now closed as the region's drought persists. Duke Energy announced new closings Tuesday and said remaining ramps could be closed by week's end. Meanwhile, area water systems are continuing to urge users to limit water use.

With mere days to go before the election, a federal judge in Winston-Salem is hearing arguments over the cancelations of up to 4,500 voter registrations in the eastern half of North Carolina.

More than 3,000 people were at Winthrop University in Rock Hill Saturday to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.  The Vermont Senator is in the midst of a three-state weekend swing, hoping to draw the same kind of large crowds he's attracted across the country. Sanders holds another rally Sunday night at Greensboro Coliseum's special events center, which seats 5,000 people.

Monday, August 10

Despite a wet spring, Charlotte, and much of North Carolina, is in drought – in fact – the worst drought since 2011. The effect of this extends beyond your brown, crisp lawn. The region’s crops are stressed, livestock is being affected and lake levels are low and declining. We’re being asked to voluntarily conserve water, as well. We examine the impact of this hot, dry summer and look ahead to what happens if this drought persists.

Drought Takes Hold In 20 North Carolina Counties

Jul 16, 2015
North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council

For the first time since 2012, a substantial part of North Carolina entered the first stages of drought this month, including Mecklenburg County.