- Associated Press - Thursday, October 13, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Drought levels have eased slightly in portions of Massachusetts.

According to the latest weekly map from the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of southeastern Massachusetts that had been in extreme drought are now considered to be in severe drought, one level lower but still quite serious.

Overall, about 38 percent of the state remains in extreme drought, down from 52 percent in recent weeks.

Despite some recent rainfall, total precipitation since the start of 2016 in the affected areas remains well below normal.

State officials have urged residents to conserve water by reducing both indoor and outdoor water usage.

The drought monitor is a collaboration of federal agencies and the University of Nebraska’s National Drought Mitigation Center.

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