Rain could ease drought warning fears in NJ

HACKENSACK - Recent heavy rains may keep officials from declaring a drought warning for parts of northern New Jersey.

More than 5 inches of rain helped boost United Water's Oradell Reservoir from low levels to the usual average for this time of year.

After a seemingly endless streak of hot and dry weather, the state issued a drought watch on Aug. 5 for Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Morris and Essex counties. Residents were asked to voluntarily cut back on water use.

State Environmental Protection officials say they would likely recommend keeping the watch in place. But they don't believe mandatory restrictions imposed by a warning are necessary.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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