HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) - While eastern North Carolina deals with massive floods, the western part of the state is falling deeper and deeper into drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor now has all or parts of seven counties in the far west in a serve drought. Almost everywhere west of Charlotte is reporting drought or abnormally dry conditions.

The area missed any substantial rains as Hurricane Matthew brushed the state and drenched places around Interstate 95 last weekend.

Asheville has reported only an inch of rain since Sept. 1.

Hendersonville Utilities Director Lee Smith told The Times-News of Hendersonville he expects to ask residents to begin voluntary water conservation next week as the water flow in the Mills River continues to slow.

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