Drought in Tennessee Valley may be easing

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A drought that has parched the Tennessee Valley for more than a year may be easing.

Rainfall affecting TVA's tributary reservoirs in East Tennessee has been 88 percent of normal since Jan. 1 and runoff into TVA lakes has been 53 percent of normal.

That's good compared to 2007, the driest in 118 years of record-keeping, which ended with only two-thirds as much rain as normal -- down nearly 17 inches. There was half the expected runoff -- down more than 10 inches.

The National Drought Mitigation Center still shows large areas of the Southeast suffering from exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions. However, the center predicts improvement this spring for Tennessee, much of North Carolina and northern Georgia and Alabama.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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