MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A flood warning has been issued for areas of Merced County on Wednesday as rainfall causes the Merced River to rise.
Officials say recent rainfall has caused the Merced River to reach over 70 feet high, which is in flood stage.
The water was up to the maintenance building at Hagaman Park, covering picnic tables, trash cans, and the entire play area.
Residents who live nearby are suffering with similar problems, including the Vierra family's property in Stevinson.
A levee failure on the Merced River has triggered massive flooding in nearby areas...
"We have a lake because Merced River has climbed over our low lying field levee," Shirley Vierra said.
Shirley and Greg Vierra rent out the field behind their home.
In early March you could see the bright green oat crop, but on Wednesday it looked like a lake behind their home.
"We don't want it to come to our house and shops," Shirley said. "So, we are definitely praying at this point to stop the rain the, God," Greg chuckled.
That's not the only flooded area in Merced County.
Right up the road, the walnut trees are still standing in a pool of water along a large commercial vineyard.
Vierra said he's also concerned about the missed opportunity for water storage during the series of storms.
"They've just been coming back to back and they really don't have time for it to soak into the ground and get utilized, it's just flowing out to the ocean which we need it," he said.
Just up the Merced River in Livingston is Cindy Lashbrook with Riverdance Farms. She has more than 70 acres of organic fruits and vegetables.
While the storms have not killed her crops, the mighty river did erode some of her acres. "This bank is vulnerable with high water," she said.
Farmers have settled in these areas because of the rivers and waterways making the soil more rich.
Lashbrook says all of the flooding is impacting famers and consumer pockets.
"I already see the prices going up in the grocery stores and Costco yesterday and things that have been just easing it's way up because things aren't getting planted," Lashbrook said.
The National Weather Service says the flood warning will be in effect until the Merced river falls below its flood stage.
Officials are reminding you to avoid this type of water because just six inches can knock you off your feet, and two feet will cause your car to float.
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