Drought designations lifted in two counties

PICKENS — Heavy rains in the northwest corner of South Carolina have eliminated drought in two counties.

State climatologist Hope Mizzell says incipient drought designations for Pickens and Oconee counties have been lifted as lake levels rose and groundwater levels returned to normal following eight days of heavy rain. More rain is expected this weekend.

The least serious level of drought was declared for 22 counties earlier this month. State officials say the rain improved conditions in Greenville, Anderson and Abbeville counties, but not enough to remove the drought designations.

Contributing: Staff writers Leroy Chapman, Tim Flach, Joey Holleman, Noelle Phillips; The Associated Press