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'Phenomenal' California snowpack nears record depths

PHILLIPS STATION, Calif. (AP) - The Sierra Nevada snowpack is close to setting records notched more than three decades ago - a welcome sight after five years of punishing drought in California, surveyors said Wednesday.

A series of storms that doused the state in the first two months of the year brought the water content of the snowpack up to a "pretty phenomenal" 185 percent of normal, well above the 84 percent of normal a year ago, said Frank Gehrke, the state's chief snow surveyor.

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