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GERTON GETS IMPROVED FIRE RATING

GERTON GETS IMPROVED FIRE RATING

FROM GERTON FIRE AND RESCUE CHIEF JAY ALLEY   

Re: Gerton Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue, Inc.

Dear Chief Alley:

Congratulations on your recent improvement to your fire suppression rating!
I commend you and your department for your dedication and commitment to making
your community a safer place to live.

I know you are proud of your department's achievement and would like to share this
news with the members of your community. I also know that the majority of
citizens may not be aware that the rating of their responding fire department
directly impacts their property insurance calculations. So I'd like to provide
you the enclosed news release to offer to your local media. Feel free to add to
it or use it as an example in creating your own. You deserve to brag a little
about the expertise of your personnel, which saves homeowners money and, most
importantly, makes their lives safer.

It was the pleasure of my staff to work with you and members of your staff during
the recent survey of your department. Chief Alley, I hope that you will take a
few minutes to review our rating process and offer any suggestions that you feel
may help us to improve our inspections program. Working together, we can continue
to make North Carolina a safer place to live and work.

With warmest personal regard, I remain,
Very truly yours,
Wayne Goodwin
Insurance Commissioner, State Fire Marshal

REGISTER NOW FOR WINTER/SPRING HISTORY OF HENDERSON COUNTY CLASSES

REGISTER NOW FOR WINTER/SPRING HISTORY OF HENDERSON COUNTY CLASSES

AT BRCC TAUGHT BY LOCAL HISTORIAN JENNIE JONES GILES   

Persons interested in the history and heritage of Henderson County are encouraged to register now for the winter/spring semester courses that begin Tuesday, Jan. 10, through the Continuing Education Department at Blue Ridge Community College. The classes are open to the public.

Henderson County History and Heritage I, covering prehistory to 1860, is taught the first half of the semester from Jan. 10 to Feb. 28. Topics include geography and natural resources, Cherokee and Catawba history and culture, Revolutionary War and treaties with the Cherokee, early settlers and backgrounds, Appalachian culture, political and economic history, agriculture, transportation,religious history, education, early communities, black history, and noteworthy families and people in the early history of the county. A day class and an evening class are offered. The day class is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the evening class is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Registration is $60.

Henderson County History and Heritage II, covering 1860 to 1920, takes place the second half of the semester, from March 7 to May 2. Topics include the Civil War, Reconstruction, black history, Appalachian culture and stereotypes, political and economic history, industry, agriculture, transportation, religious history, education, tourism, communities, and World War I. A day class and an evening class are offered. The day class is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the evening class is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Registration is $60.

Henderson County History and Heritage III is also offered in the spring semester on Thursdays from March 2 to April 27. This class covers the history of Henderson County from 1920 through the 20th century. Topics include the Roaring ‘20s, Great Depression, World War II, Korean War, the post-war era, Vietnam War and other events to the end of the 20th century. Specifics addressed will include cultural changes, minorities, political and economic history, agriculture, transportation, education, industrialization, communities and current issues. This class is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Registration is $60. It is strongly recommended that students take the first two courses as prerequisites before taking this class.

The instructor is Jennie Jones Giles.
To register online, visit http://www.blueridge.edu/ceregister Persons may also register from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Continuing Education Building, Room 123, or call 694-1735.

NEW HENDERSONVILLE PUBLIX SUPERMARKET STILL ON TARGET FOR 2017 OPENING

NEW HENDERSONVILLE PUBLIX SUPERMARKET STILL ON TARGET FOR 2017 OPENING

CONSTRUCTION TIME DEPENDS ON PERMITTING AND WEATHER  

THE NEW STORE WILL EMPLOY ABOUT 140 PEOPLE   

 Publix Supermarket spokesperson Kimberly Reynolds confirmed for WHKP News last week that their planned new store for Hendersonville is still “on target” for opening in 2017.

She pointed out that construction times vary depending on permitting and weather. And the new Publix Supermarket, scheduled to be built on the Greenville Highway where Atha Plaza has been for generations, is still resolving some of those permitting issues…most of them involve adequate storm water run-off and a nearby catch basin used in the past for diverting water on the south side during periods of flooding. Many of those issues appear to be close to resolution, and City Council has on its agenda for its February 2nd meeting a quasi-judicial public hearing to close a portion of near-by Market Street just off White Street, also connected to preparing that area for the new Publix.

The new supermarket will be built by the Halvorsen Development Corporation from Florida, and Ms. Reynolds told WHKP News that construction of one of their stores typically takes about a year and the actual “start date” for construction depends on those permitting issues.

She points out the new Publix store will be approximately 49,000 square feet in size and will employ about 140 people. She says Publix plans to hold a “job fair” one to two months prior to opening the store.

Reynolds says that the new Hendersonille Publix will feature all of Publix traditional departments including their “scratch” bakery, deli, and meat, seafood and produce departments.

The new Hendersonville Publix will also feature, she says, Publix’s “Apron’s Simple Meals”.

Another Publix source tells WHKP News that those who might want to work in the new store, who don’t want to wait for the “job fair”, can apply at other nearby Publix stores…which, said the source, allows Publix to fill staffing needs at both stores although the new store will have the greatest number of openings. Information is available on the Publix careers Facebook page and @ Publixjobs Twitter account.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 12/31/16

NEW SPARTANBURG HIGHWAY INGLE'S SUPERMARKET WILL OPEN IN THE SPRING

NEW SPARTANBURG HIGHWAY INGLE'S SUPERMARKET WILL OPEN IN THE SPRING

LOTS OF GROCERY CHOICES ON HENDERSONVILLE'S SOUTH SIDE---MORE COMING  

IN ADDITION TO THREE SUPERMARKETS...THE HENDERSONVILLE COMMUNITY CO-OP AND THE FRESH MARKET ARE JUST A FEW BLOCKS AWAY   

Local grocery shoppers have been watching construction going on on that all new and much larger Ingle’s Supermarket on the Spartanburg Highway…and wondering how soon the new store will be opening.

Ron Freeman, who is Ingle’s Chief Financial Officer, this week told WHKP News that the goal is to have that new store open this spring.

The old store was closed months ago and some nearby buildings were torn down to make way for the new store which, Freeman says, “…will be approximately the same size and have all the amenities as the Mills River and Brevard Road (across from Asheville Outlet Mall) stores. (See photos.) Those stores include Ingle’s popular Gas Express.

Freeman told WHKP News that it’s not definite yet how many people will be hired to work in the new store when it opens, and he said “job fairs” will be held when they are closer to opening date.

Ingle’s has been building and opening many new stores, and the store’s chief financial officer said “At Ingle’s, we’ve always believed in constant improvement to our stores, based on the benefit for our customers.”

Freeman added, “New stores, re-modeling, adding features are all part of achieving that goal and the path we take depends on circumstances at the time.”

That new Ingle’s will be across the Spartanburg Highway from a Harris teeter Supermarket and in close proximity to the new Publix Supermarket planned for the Greenville Highway where Atha Plaza has been for many years. A Food Lion Supermarket a few blocks away on the Greenville Highway was closed along with 112 other Food Lion stores early in 2012. The former Food Lion building is reportedly “on the market” for sale.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 12/28/16 6 PM

 

 

THE GRAND LODGE AT GRAND HIGHLANDS AT BEARWALLOW TO BE RE-BUILT

THE GRAND LODGE AT GRAND HIGHLANDS AT BEARWALLOW TO BE RE-BUILT

DESTROYED BY FIRE ON DECEMBER 4   

RE-BUILDING THE LODGE EXPECTED TO COST $3 MILLION;  WORK TO START ASAP   

In the early morning hours of Sunday December 4th, the Grand Lodge at the Grand Highlands at Bearwallow was destroyed by fire. (The WHKP News photos show the burned out lodge.) Chief Jay Alley of Gerton Fire and Rescue said over 100 fire fighters from 20 fire departments responded. The beautiful but remote location, the great distance from the other departments (Gerton is several miles and some 2000 feel below the 4200 foot peak of Bearwallow), and the limited availability of water (Chief Alley said fighting the fire was more than the water tank could handle, it was quickly drained, and more waster had to be shuttled in) made saving that magnificent structure literally impossible.

The good news is…the Grand Lodge will be re-built. Grand Highlands developer Dean Anderson told WHKP News over the Christmas holidays that the current plan is to re-build as soon as possible; the cost to re-build the lodge will be some $3 million; and it will probably be two years before the Grand Lodge can be open and in full operation again---their web site is targeting the spring of 2019.

Fire officials were unable to pinpoint the cause of the fire, but it is believed to have started in the attic area and an explosion may have been involved.

Even though the Grand Lodge structure itself is now only a burned out hull, development is continuing and looking more beautiful than ever at Grand Highlands. There are currently 32 homes situated near the peak of Bearwallow, enjoying some of the most breath-taking panoramic views in all of western North Carolina that stretch all the way to the flat country of South Carolina in one direction, to Hendersonville, Etowah and Brevard in another, and all the way to the Balsams in yet another…and over a little ridge, all the way to Asheville and beyond on the north side. Anderson says 5 more homes are currently planned. The sale of both the lots and upscale homes continues to be great, says Anderson---10 additional homes are set for construction in 2017.

Anderson described Grand Highlands as a “very large investment” that started, said Anderson, "...with Grand Highlands paying to bring city water to the development." He said the Grand Highlands community is totally debt free and made up of 80 per cent primary residents and 20 per cent “second” and/or seasonal home owners.

Even though the Grand Lodge won’t be available again for a couple of years, Anderson says some folks are setting up tents for weddings and photos near the burned out lodge…and what’s known as “the barn” and “the old homestead” may also be available for weddings, receptions, and other special events.

The Grand Highlands at Bearwallow is accessible from the Edneyville, Hooper’s Creek and Gerton sides of the mountain.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 12/26/16 4 pm

Contact information for the Grand Highlands:

Dean Anderson
10 Autumn Sky Dr.
Hendersonville, NC 28792
828-233-1017
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.grandhighlands.com
www.bearwallowevents.com

 

 

HORIZON & HANNAH FLANAGAN'S TEAM UP TO DONATE TO THE COMMUNITY

HORIZON & HANNAH FLANAGAN'S TEAM UP TO DONATE TO THE COMMUNITY

Horizon and Hannah Flanagan’s team up to contribute $24,000 to the local community
Hendersonville, N.C., December 30, 2016: Horizon Heating and Air Conditioning and Hannah Flanagan’s are pleased to announce a partnership which will double the charitable community awards program during 2017. Each month, Horizon and Hannah Flanagan’s will award $2,000 to one or more Henderson County nonprofits placing a total of $24,000 charitable dollars into the community for 2017.

Dan Poeta, president of Horizon Heating and Air Conditioning stated “I am excited to partner with Hannah Flanagan’s to double the awards available to the community.” Matt Johnes, Owner of Hannah Flanagan’s, said “The community has been very responsive to my business helping us grow throughout the years and I am excited to partner with Horizon Heating and Air to be able to give back.” They also welcome and encourage other small business owners to participate in the future.

Applications for the 2017 Calendar Year are being accepted January 2, 2017 through February 3, 2017 only. In order to qualify, you must be a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, operating programs in Henderson County or programs for the benefit of the residents of Henderson County. To make an application visit www.HorizonHeatAC.com or www.theoriginalhannahflanagans.com. Follow the links for the Horizon and Hannah Flanagan’s Community Fund.

Horizon Heating and Air Conditioning installs residential and commercial heating and air conditioning systems along with commercial refrigeration systems in Hendersonville, Brevard, Waynesville, Asheville and other areas of Western North Carolina.

Hannah Flanagan's Irish Pub is located on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville, NC. It offers Irish-influenced pub grub and an extensive, ever-changing beer list in a relaxed, old-world setting, with outside dining, daily drink specials and delicious Irish Pub food.

Both Horizon Heating and Air Conditioning and Hannah Flanagan’s have established charitable giving funds at the Community Foundation of Henderson County.

 

JAPANESE TV VISITS MRMAPLE IN EAST FLAT ROCK

JAPANESE TV VISITS MRMAPLE IN EAST FLAT ROCK

A popular Japanese television show recently came to the mountains in Western North Carolina and filmed "I Want To Go To Japan".

The television crew came to the nursery, MrMaple.com in East Flat Rock, NC in late November for a week

They then took the two brothers who own and operate MrMapleto Japan in November. The show aired in Japan about a week ago

MrMaple.com is a family owned Japanese Maple nursery that has over 1,000 cultivars of Japanese Maples and has been in business over 43 years.

Contac : Tim Nichols 828 551 6739, Matt Nichols 828 226 5684 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , web site: http://mrmaple.com/index.html

 

 

FACEBOOK POST CONFIRMS:  NOVELS AND NOVELTIES BOOKSTORE IS CLOSING THE END OF THIS WEEK/YEAR

FACEBOOK POST CONFIRMS: NOVELS AND NOVELTIES BOOKSTORE IS CLOSING THE END OF THIS WEEK/YEAR

WILL BE CLOSED BY THE START OF 2017   

Small, independent bookstores have a hard time staying in business most everywhere, and on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville in particular.

It's been rumored for days that Novels and Novelties is closing...and owner Valerie Welbourn confirmed the closing in a recent post on the store's Facebook page:

"For the last seven years, I have been extraordinarily lucky to get to meet lots of wonderful, talented authors, enthusiastic and dedicated book lovers, and just overall nice people, such as yourselves.

It has been a wonderful journey, and we hope we have contributed back as much as we have gained, although that doesn't really seem possible.

As many of you know, the store has been for sale for the last year or so. Although we've had many almost-buyers, all of them have backed out. So we will be closing the store at the end of 2016.

In the meantime, I have gone back to my initial career and have actually been working in Asheville for the last 4+ months. I'm enjoying the change of pace, but will miss seeing all of you on a regular basis, and discussing books. Being a serious introvert though, I guess I had to expect that my time in the public sphere was finite. Thank you all for your encouragement and support these last years.

Thanks for all the Good times! Much Love, Val."

The store was formerly The Fountainhead.

Various items, including some metal and other folding chairs and store furnishings, are being sold as the process continues of closing the business.,

 

PARDEE JOINS OTHER AREA HOSPITALS IMPOSING VISITOR RESTRICTIONS DUE TO FLU

PARDEE JOINS OTHER AREA HOSPITALS IMPOSING VISITOR RESTRICTIONS DUE TO FLU

THREE HAVE DIED SO FAR THIS FLU SEASON IN NORTH CAROLINA  

COMPLETE DETAILS AVAILABLE AT hendersoncountyflu.org     

Due to a sharp increase in influenza-like illnesses being reported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the recent closings of several area schools due to influenza, most area hospitals have implemented visitor restrictions.

Officials with Pardee Hospital indicated that similar restrictions will likely be imposed soon.

In order to protect patients, visitors, providers and staff, the following restrictions are in place at Park Ridge Health.
⦁ No hospital visitors under the age of 18 permitted.
⦁ Visitors are limited to immediate family and clergy only.
⦁ The number of visitors is limited to one or two at a time, unless special circumstances are presented.
⦁ No hospital visitors with cough or other flu symptoms permitted.

The visitor restrictions will remain in place until the elevated risk for exposure to the flu returns to a normal level.

According to Kimberly Horton, communications director for the Henderson County Department of Public Health, the state report showed only a mild increase in flu activity this season, but there has not been a local increase at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October. However, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season, even in January or later.

“It’s not too late to get a flu shot,” said Horton, “especially at this time of the year when families are coming together, with the kids outside.”

According to the CDC, flu symptoms include: a fever of 100 degrees or more, cough or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches or body aches, chills fatigue as well as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Flu vaccines are available at the health department’s immunization clinic on a walk-in basis only from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The department, at 1200 Spartanburg Highway, will be closed Dec. 23 and Dec. 26. Prices depend on insurance and the health department accepts cash, check and credit cards.

Flu surveillance data, updated weekly, is available at flu.nc.gov. To date there have been two flu-related deaths statewide this season, which began Oct. 2.

The Flu Vaccine Finder tool at vaccinefinder.org can help residents locate flu clinics in their area. More local and state information on this year’s flu season is available at hendersoncountyflu.org.

DROUGHT ENDS 2016---WILL START 2017

DROUGHT ENDS 2016---WILL START 2017

FROM WHKP---HENDERSONVILLE'S OFFICIAL NWS OBSERVATION STATION---BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATIONB STARTED ALMOIST A YEAR AGO; RAINFALL INCREASED OVER THE SUMMER; THEN DIMINISHED TO ALMOST NONE LATE IN THE SUMMER AND THROUGH THE FALL   

LATEST DROUGHT UPDATE 

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC

INTERMEDIATE STATEMENT #2016I1...Severe to Extreme Drought Conditions Persist Across Northeast

Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, and the Southwest North Carolina
Mountains while Drought Conditions Spread into the North
Carolina Piedmont...

=====================================================================
SYNOPSIS...
=====================================================================

While most of November was extremely dry, the end of the month and
beginning of December brought some rare above-normal rainfall to
much of the area and ended the significant wildfires ongoing across
the foothills and mountains. Impacts are reaching a minimum as
the winter season arrives which means that drought conditions are
unlikely to worsen significantly even if below-normal rainfall
continues through February. However, if winter rainfall is
below-normal, impacts will significantly increase heading into
spring once the growing season commences and water supply demands
increase.

=====================================================================
CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS BY COUNTY...
=====================================================================

Drought intensity from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) occupying
at least 25% of surface area in each county is listed below...

------------
..GEORGIA...
------------

COUNTY CATEGORY INTENSITY D1 DROUGHT
AS OF: AS OF: BEGAN*:
Aug| Oct| Nov| Dec Dec. 20
16 | 25 | 01 | 20

Elbert D2 | D3 | D3 | D4 Exceptional 05/03/16
Franklin D3 | D3 | D3 | D4 Exceptional 04/26/16
Habersham D1 | D3 | D3 | D4 Exceptional 04/26/16
Hart D2 | D2 | D3 | D4 Exceptional 04/26/16
Rabun D1 | D3 | D3 | D3 Extreme 04/26/16
Stephens D2 | D3 | D3 | D4 Exceptional 04/26/16

-------------------
..NORTH CAROLINA...
-------------------

COUNTY CATEGORY INTENSITY D1 DROUGHT
AS OF: AS OF: BEGAN*:
Aug| Oct| Nov| Dec Dec. 20
16 | 25 | 01 | 20

Alexander NO | D0 | D0 | D1 Moderate 11/08/16
Avery NO | D1 | D1 | D1 Moderate 09/20/16
Buncombe D0 | D2 | D2 | D2 Severe 05/03/16
Burke NO | D1 | D2 | D1 Moderate 09/20/16
Cabarrus NO | NO | NO | D1 Moderate 11/22/16
Caldwell NO | D1 | D1 | D1 Moderate 09/20/16
Catawba NO | D0 | D1 | D1 Moderate 11/01/16
Cleveland NO | D2 | D2 | D2 Severe 09/27/16
Davie NO | D0 | D0 | D1 Moderate 11/15/16
Gaston D0 | D1 | D1 | D1 Moderate 10/25/16
Graham D1 | D2 | D3 | D3 Extreme 05/03/16
Haywood D1 | D2 | D2 | D2 Severe 05/03/16
Henderson NO | D2 | D3 | D2 Severe 09/20/16
Iredell NO | D0 | D0 | D1 Moderate 11/08/16
Jackson D1 | D2 | D2 | D3 Extreme 05/03/16
Lincoln D0 | D1 | D1 | D1 Moderate 10/25/16
Macon D1 | D3 | D3 | D3 Extreme 05/03/16
Madison D0 | D1 | D2 | D2 Severe 05/03/16
McDowell NO | D1 | D2 | D2 Severe 09/20/16
Mecklenburg D0 | NO | NO | D1 Moderate 11/15/16
Mitchell NO | D1 | D1 | D1 Moderate 09/20/16
Polk NO | D2 | D3 | D2 Severe 09/20/16
Rowan NO | NO | NO | D1 Moderate 11/22/16
Rutherford NO | D2 | D2 | D2 Severe 09/20/16
Swain D0 | D2 | D3 | D3 Extreme 05/03/16
Transylvania D0 | D2 | D3 | D2 Severe 09/20/16
Union NO | NO | NO | D1 Moderate 11/22/16
Yancey D0 | D1 | D1 | D1 Moderate 09/20/16

-------------------
..SOUTH CAROLINA...
-------------------

COUNTY CATEGORY INTENSITY D1 DROUGHT
AS OF: AS OF: BEGAN*:
Aug| Oct| Nov| Dec Dec. 20
16 | 25 | 01 | 20

Abbeville D3 | D3 | D3 | D3 Extreme 05/03/16
Anderson D2 | D3 | D3 | D3 Extreme 05/03/16
Cherokee D0 | D1 | D2 | D2 Severe 09/27/16
Chester D0 | D0 | D0 | D2 Severe 11/15/16
Greenville D0 | D3 | D3 | D3 Extreme 05/10/16
Greenwood D2 | D1 | D1 | D2 Severe 06/28/16
Laurens D1 | D3 | D3 | D2 Severe 07/12/16
Oconee D1 | D3 | D3 | D3 Extreme 04/26/16
Pickens D1 | D3 | D3 | D3 Extreme 05/03/16
Spartanburg D0 | D2 | D3 | D2 Severe 07/05/16
Union D0 | D1 | D1 | D2 Severe 10/25/16
York D0 | D1 | D1 | D2 Severe 10/25/16

DEFINITIONS...

D1 DROUGHT BEGAN: The date D1 conditions began for a given county.
If a county is upgraded to a combination of D0
AND no category for at least 4 weeks, then the D1
DROUGHT BEGAN date is reset. For example, if a
county was in D1, then upgraded to D0 for 4 weeks,
then returns to D1 on the fifth week, the
DROUGHT BEGAN date is NOT reset because D0
conditions never ended and the county therefore
never fully recovered from the drought.

USDM CLASSIFICATIONS...

D0 Abnormally Dry: - 21st-30th precipitation percentile
- 21-30 percent chance of occurrence
IN ANY GIVEN YEAR
- OVER A LONG-TERM AVERAGE,
occurs once every 3 years
- Going into drought: Short-term dryness
slowing planting, growth of crops or
pastures;
- Coming out of drought: Some lingering water
deficits; pastures or crops not fully
recovered;
- Streamflows below 30th percentile

D1 Moderate Drought: - 11th-20th precipitation percentile
- 11-20 percent chance of occurrence
IN ANY GIVEN YEAR
- OVER A LONG-TERM AVERAGE,
occurs once every 5 years
- Some damage to crops, pastures;
- Streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some
water shortages developing or imminent;
- Streamflows below 20th percentile

D2 Severe Drought: - 6th-10th precipitation percentile
- 6-10 percent chance of occurrence
IN ANY GIVEN YEAR
- OVER A LONG-TERM AVERAGE,
occurs once every 10 years
- Crop or pasture losses likely;
- Water shortages or restrictions common;
- Streamflows below 10th percentile

D3 Extreme Drought: - 3rd-5th precipitation percentile
- 3-5 percent chance of occurrence
IN ANY GIVEN YEAR
- OVER A LONG-TERM AVERAGE,
occurs once every 20 years
- Major crop/pasture losses;
- Widespread water shortages or restrictions;
- Streamflows below 5th percentile

D4 Exceptional Drought:- 0-2nd precipitation percentile
- Less than 2 percent chance of occurrence
IN ANY GIVEN YEAR
- OVER A LONG-TERM AVERAGE,
occurs once every 50 years
- Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture
losses;
- Shortages of water in reservoirs,
streams, and wells creating water
emergencies;
- Streamflows below 2nd percentile

---------------------------------------------
..A NOTE ABOUT EARLY DECEMBER IMPROVEMENTS...
---------------------------------------------

While conditions deteriorated across the North Carolina Piedmont,
much of Upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina was
upgraded one category in early December due in part to above-normal
rainfall beginning in late November. However, the upgrade was also
the result of a reassessment of impacts across the region and a
comparison to the worst drought in recent record (2007-2009), which
indicated that the expansion to D3 and D4 occurred too quickly this
autumn. Autumn is typically the driest part of the year and is also
at the end of the growing season. Water usage is also declining
and reservoir storages are lowered to prepare for winter recharge.
Therefore, the expansion to D4 drought was excessive and
unnecessary for the time of year. Furthermore, if winter rainfall
cannot restore reservoir and stream levels to normal values,
impacts will be far more severe than they were this autumn, once
the growing season commences, water usage increases, and
recreational activities increase. This means that there would be
no way to communicate the increase in drought severity if D4
conditions were already declared through the winter, as there is
no D5 category (D4 is already at the lowest percent-chance of
occurrence possible). At that time, drought conditions
may truly begin to compare to a near-record or exceptional drought.

--------------------------------
..COMPARISON TO PAST DROUGHTS...
--------------------------------

The 2007-2009 drought was the worst drought for western North
Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and Northeast Georgia in terms of
severity and extent since the categorization of drought began in
2000. The current drought is not yet as significant as the 2007-2009
drought. For comparison purposes, the 2007-2008 drought began
(classified as the first presence of D1 conditions anywhere in the
region) in February 2007 and ended in early May of 2009 for a total
duration of 26 months. During this drought there was an initial
intensity peak in late December of 2007, followed by a modest
improvement during the spring of 2008, but then the drought
re-strengthened through the summer and fall of 2008 before gradually
weakening through the winter and spring of 2009. Cabarrus,
Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Union counties in North Carolina experienced
an earlier end to the drought from October to early December of 2008.

=====================================================================
SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
=====================================================================
-----------------
..AGRICULTURAL...
-----------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Drought Disaster Counties
-----------------------as of December 14, 2016-----------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------

As of December 14, 2016:

STATE COUNTY TYPE

GEORGIA Elbert Primary
GEORGIA Franklin Primary
GEORGIA Habersham Primary
GEORGIA Hart Primary
GEORGIA Rabun Primary
GEORGIA Stephens Primary

NORTH CAROLINA Buncombe Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Burke Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Cleveland Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Gaston Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Graham Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Haywood Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Henderson Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Jackson Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Lincoln Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Macon Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Madison Primary
NORTH CAROLINA McDowell Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Polk Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Rutherford Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Swain Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Transylvania Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Yancey Primary
NORTH CAROLINA Avery Contiguous
NORTH CAROLINA Caldwell Contiguous
NORTH CAROLINA Catawba Contiguous
NORTH CAROLINA Iredell Contiguous
NORTH CAROLINA Mecklenburg Contiguous
NORTH CAROLINA Mitchell Contiguous

SOUTH CAROLINA Abbeville Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Anderson Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Greenville Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Greenwood Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Laurens Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Oconee Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Pickens Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Spartanburg Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Cherokee Primary
SOUTH CAROLINA Union Primary

For more information on requesting assistance, please visit:
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/
disaster-assistance-program/index

---------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------
..WATER RESTRICTIONS...
-----------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------- KNOWN WATER RESTRICTIONS -----------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------

STATE CITY, COUNTY, or PROVIDER STAGE TYPE

Georgia | Elbert County | 1 | Voluntary
Georgia | Franklin County | 1 | Voluntary
Georgia | Habersham County | 2 | Mandatory
Georgia | Hart County | 1 | Voluntary
Georgia | Rabun County | 1 | Voluntary
Georgia | Stephens County | 1 | Voluntary

North Carolina | Bakersville | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Banner Elk | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Beech Mountain | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Belmont | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Bryson City | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Burke County | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Burnsville | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Caldwell County | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Canton | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Catawba County | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Charlotte | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Cherryville | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Concord | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Gastonia | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Harrisburg | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Hendersonville | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Hickory | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Junaluska Sanitary Dist. | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Kannapolis | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Lincoln County | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Old Fort | NA | Voluntary
North Carolina | McAdenville | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Montreat | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Mooresville | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Sapphire | NA | Mandatory
North Carolina | Sugar Mountain | NA | Mandatory
North Carolina | Tryon | 1 | Voluntary
North Carolina | Union County | 2 | Mandatory
North Carolina | Western Carolina Univ. | 1 | Voluntary

South Carolina | City of Union | NA | Voluntary
South Carolina | York County | 1 | Voluntary
South Carolina | Greenville Water | NA | Voluntary

---------------------------------------------------------------------

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Charlotte: Irrigation only on Tuesday and Saturday, 6pm-6am,
only 1-inch of water per week;
No residential car washing;
No pool filling, no fountains;
http://charlottenc.gov/Water/Pages/
DroughtCentral.aspx
Concord,
Harrisburg,
Kannapolis: http://www.concordnc.gov/Resident/Community-
News/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/882
Greenville
Water: Outdoor watering only twice-per-week between 7pm and
8am for no more than 10 minutes
https://www.greenvillewater.com/
dry-weather-leads-to-voluntary-water-restrictions/

York County: Outdoor watering limited to only two days per week;
Reduce outdoor washing

Hendersonville: Customers to reduce water usage by 10%;
Preparing to connect to French Broad River to
avoid Stage 2, Mandatory water restrictions pending
State of Emergency declaration from North Carolina.

Calls to Action...
------------------

The public in encouraged to contact their local municipalities to
confirm the lack of water restrictions in their specific area.
Please be mindful of drought conditions in your area even if your
community is not officially under water restrictions. Limit outdoor
watering and conserve water use indoors whenever possible.

--------------------
..WILDFIRE DANGER...
--------------------

Calls to Action...
------------------

Residents are encouraged to contact their local municipalities,
including their local county forest ranger prior to burning leaves
and yard debris. Small leaf fires can quickly grow out of control
during periods of extreme dryness, as other vegetation and
decomposing organic materials on the surface are more prone to
ignition. Please exercise extreme caution, monitor the latest
weather forecasts for lightning and winds and obey all local burn
ban ordinances for your safety and the protection of your
property. Careless debris burning is the top cause of wildfires.

Smokers need to properly dispose of cigarettes as even the smallest
spark can ignite a wildfire. Campers should clear a 10 foot safe
area around their campfires and never leave campfires unattended.
All yard debris and camp fires must be completely extinguished
before unattending.

Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook...
----------------------------------------------

The Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook from the NIFC
calls for fire potential in November returning to
near normal for December 2016 through February 2017.