Warming weather to increase Sierra snowmelt, flooding risk

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HANFORD — Forecasters say warming California weather will increase melting of the huge Sierra Nevada snowpack and raise water levels in many rivers and streams in the coming week.

The National Weather Service says this will heighten the risk of flooding in adjacent areas, including along the upper Merced River in Yosemite National Park.

Forecasters say nearby residents, hikers and campers should pay close attention to water levels and be ready to move to safety.

Experts warn that the rivers pose life-threatening dangers this time of year, running swift and so cold that exposure to the icy waters can lead to hypothermia in 15 minutes or less.

State officials said Friday there's potential for use of the reconstructed spillway at Oroville Dam. The spillway crumbled during heavy flows in 2017.

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