EVERETT — Recent heavy rains in October and November have refilled regional reservoirs and streams enough so that Puget Sound cities are deactivating their water shortage response plans.
The cities of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma reported Monday that even though the state remains in a declared drought, water levels in the western Cascades are back to normal for this time of year.
A total of 39 inches of rain have fallen in the Sultan River watershed since Oct. 1. The amount of water in Spada reservoir, which supplies Everett and 95 other communities and water districts, is at 130 percent of normal for this time of year.
At Culmback Dam, the priority has shifted from drought management to flood control.
A strong El Nino weather system is forecast this fall and winter, which could bring warmer weather than normal, as well as a below-normal snowpack in 2016.
Water officials in all three cities will continue to monitor the weather and conduct water supply forecasts throughout the winter and spring.