Five NC Counties Now In Highest Level Of Drought; Could Wildfire Smoke Impact Panthers Game?
As dry conditions move east from North Carolina's mountains, five counties are now in an 'exceptional' drought - the highest level as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
State officials say exceptional drought has now spread to Graham, Macon, and Swain counties, joining them with Cherokee and Clay counties. More than 40 percent of North Carolina is now in some stage of drought, up from 30 percent last week.
In South Carolina, 44 percent of the state is in some level of drought, compared to almost 41 percent last week. Only one county in South Carolina -- Oconee County -- is in an exceptional drought. Oconee County is in the far western part of the state. At this time last year, no part of South Carolina was suffering from drought.
Meanwhile, officials in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County issued a ban on outdoor burning Thursday morning. The ban includes recreational fires, grilling on or near wooden decks or near grass or pine needles, and parking cars on dry grass where a hot tailpipe could spark a fire.
Carolina Panthers Will Play New Orleans Saints, Despite 'Unhealthy' Air Quality
The Carolina Panthers are prepping for their home game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday night, but it's unclear whether smoke blown into the area from mountain wildfires could cause problems for the athletes
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality says Mecklenburg County's air quality Thursday is at a code orange -- meaning it's unhealthy for older people, children, people with breathing problems, and active adults. Air quality officials say those people should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
A spokesperson for the Panthers reportedly told WSOC-TV there are no conversations about changes or precautions for Thursday night's game.
Following Fake Account Scandal, Wells Fargo Sees Retail Business Slide In October
Wells Fargo's retail business reported losses in the month of October, 2016, including a 22 percent drop in the number of customer visits to bankers, compared to last year. Credit card applications fell 50 percent, compared with the previous year, and consumer checking account openings fell 44 percent compared with last year.
The numbers reflect the first full month following revelations that the bank had been creating fake accounts for its customers.