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Wet Winter Sweeps Away East Coast Drought

March 23, 2003|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A snowy and rainy winter has pulled the East Coast out of its five-year drought, replenishing lakes and aquifers from Georgia to Maine.

Coastal states averaged about 25% more precipitation than the typical 3 to 4 inches a month from October to March, according to the National Weather Service. Virginia recorded its 10th-wettest winter in 108 years and Maryland its 11th.

"That really did the trick," said Douglas LeComte, a drought specialist with the weather service's Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md.

"I think it's going to stay ended."

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the drought's end but said northern Maine and parts of Vermont still have drought conditions.

Up and down the East Coast, wells are at or above normal levels, even the deepest ones in the Mid-Atlantic region. Many haven't been this high since 1998, LeComte said.

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