Drought conditions have improved significantly across Eastern North Carolina since last fall. In fact, since the beginning of the year rainfall has averaged nearly 12 inches across the eastern portion of the state. Areas to the west have received less but even in those locations conditions are much better. The rainfall has come at a very good time since evaporation rates are still low and water demands are less this time of year. Reservoirs and streams have been creeping up over the past few weeks lessening the threat of severe water restrictions in much of the state. Eastern North Carolina appears to be in the best condition with the Neuse and Tar River Basins reaching near bank-full in some areas by the first week in April. Some areas along the Neuse and Tar River received 4 inches of rain last weekend. Projections for the summer would indicate that near normal rainfall should be expected.