WET WEATHER HELPS FILL LOCAL RESERVOIRS

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By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Torrential rains during this wet winter have raised levels dramatically at local reservoirs, with a new storm possibly bringing even more rain this weekend. 

The Lower Otay reached 100% capacity, so a spillway was opened for the overflow.  Lake Poway came within inches of overflowing, closing hiking trails at the lake.

In East County, Lake Jennings is at 92% capacity, Lake Murray is at 91% and San Vicente has reached 76%.  El Capitan is at 40% -- up from 33% just one week earlier. Loveland Reservoir is at 58%, Lake Cuyamaca 44%, Lake Sutherland 35%, and Sweetwater 28%.  Even Barrett Lake, which had been drained down by the city of San Diego to very low levels to supply drinking water during the drought, is now back at 28.5%.

Only Lake Morena is still very low at 5.8% due to the City of San Diego draining the reservoir down to 5% and evaporation dipping it further to a mere 2.8% just a couple of months ago.  But even 5.8% is a welcome improvement, more than doubling the level in recent weeks.

Elsewhere in the County, Lake Hodges is 88% full and Lake Miramar nearly 85%.

From Sunday to Tuesday this week, the deluge dropped more than 9 inches of rain on Palomar Mountain and nearly 8 inches on Mt. Woodson. Here in East County, over 6 inches fell at Lake Cuyamaca and more than 5 inches in Ramona were recorded.

 This Saturday and Sunday, a storm swooping in from Alaska is forecast to bring a 20 to 40% chance of more rain, the National Weather Service predicts. So keep your umbrellas handy and remember, all these showers are great not only for boosting local water supplies, but also filling up reservoirs enjoyed by local residents and tourists for fishing, water sports, boating, or enjoying our local lakes aboard a kayak or canoe.