Drought panel: Some of SC out of drought

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's drought committee says rainfall has reduced the drought status in the northeastern portion of the state and Charleston and Beaufort counties.

State Climatologist Hope Mizell says the panel met in Columbia on Thursday to assess the situation.

The South Carolina Drought Response Committee put much of the northeast portion of the state, as well as Charleston and Beaufort counties, in a normal status. That is improved from their prior status of incipient drought.

The panel took five counties along the Savannah River out of the severe drought category. It placed some in a moderate level, while others moved to incipient drought.

The panel says several northwest counties remain in moderate drought, and more rain is needed to improve lakes in the Savannah River Basin.