California snowpack could bring 5-year drought to its knees

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Water managers will once again manually measure California's snowpack, saying the state is on track for one of the wettest winters on record after five years of drought.

The California Department of Water Resources will do the survey Wednesday in the Sierra Nevada.

The snowpack is vital because it provides one-third of the state's water to homes and farms when it melts.

On Tuesday, electronic monitors showed the snowpack was at 186 percent of normal for this time of year.

Doug Carlson of the state Department of Water Resources says the winter's historic snow and rainfall has not been seen in California for decades.

It's also good for skiers because resorts are extending their seasons.

Mammoth Mountain's Lauren Burke says slopes there should be open for skiers celebrating Independence Day.

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