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Northeast Georgia still in exceptional drought
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Despite torrential rains in much of the area Tuesday night, Northeast Georgia remains in an “exceptional” drought, the worst category.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday, eastern Hall County is still classified as exceptional, along with all or part of 15 other counties, including White, Habersham, Banks, Barrow, Towns, and Rabun.

The rest of Northeast Georgia, including West Hall, is in an “extreme” drought, the second worst category. Northwest and central Georgia are classified as “severe,” while counties near the coast are only in “moderate” drought.

In a summary issued Thursday, National Weather Service hydrologist Kent Frantz said recent rains benefited shallow-rooted plants, but stream flows and water tables across the area remain far below normal.

Though the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, a map prepared by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, indicates the drought is “likely to improve” in Northeast Georgia between mid-July and October, Frantz said that conclusion is not based on actual data.

“It’s based on the fact that the tropical storm season peaks in August and September,” he said. “But I do not anticipate any improvement other than on a localized level, unless we get a major event (such as a hurricane).”