MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Merced County officials are closely watching the Merced River as water levels continue to go up and down as snow melts.
The National Weather Service says water reached flood levels in Yosemite early Monday morning.
The Merced County Sheriff's Office is now warning people to stay out of the Merced River.
"The water looks inviting. Folks, it's not a game. Stay out of it. We've got it posted. I've declared an emergency situation with regard to anybody swimming in it. So, just stay out of the water," said Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke.
The water is dark and cold. Sheriff Warnke says he doesn't want people to put themselves in danger.
"It wasn't too long ago that during the flight, we actually found some people stranded on the Merced River. We had to send a dive team in to get them. They thought it would be all right; they were on a raft, going to have a great time and got tangled in some trees. Because there are some parts of the river where the growth goes over the entire river, and you can't get through it," said Sheriff Warnke.
City officials in Newman said they monitor the water along with Merced and Stanislaus County.
For the City of Newman, there isn't a concern about potential flooding. But that's not the case for everyone in the area.
Paul Chamberlain has lived near the Merced and San Joaquin rivers for about 20 years.
He said his neighbors are concerned about rising waters.
"There's a trailer park that's completely flooded out. This orchard here is about 25 acres, and probably at least 15 of it has been killed by the water already. So, it's affecting a lot of people pretty negatively," said Chamberlain.
He built up a levee to protect his home from flooding.
Chamberlain said if he didn't, his house would have been underwater this past winter. And he is confident it will continue to protect his home.
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