MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- While the rain has stopped over spring break, lakes and rivers in Merced County still haven't recovered from heavy flooding.
"We traveled upstream of the Merced River and a lot of the areas, it's literally impassable," said Sgt. Larry Hudec, with the Merced County Sheriff's Dive Team and Search & Rescue.
Dive team members with the Merced County Sheriff's Office had a tough time maneuvering through water themselves during safety exercises near Stevenson.
"We were doing man overboard drills, we're doing throw bags, we were doing any type of boat operation maneuvers through the waters," explained Hudec.
All in preparation to save people from drowning, if necessary.
Locals who wanted to enjoy being outside kept their distance from the water because they know firsthand the dangers it can bring.
"Every year the Merced River claims at least a couple lives, it's just not safe, stay out of it," said Candy Silvera, Delhi resident.
Candy Silvera knows looks can be deceiving when it comes to the currents, which often catch people by surprise.
"It's the undertows that suck you down and they can never find you, for days," added Silvera.
"It's heartbreaking to have to go to these calls and have to explain to loved ones what happened, and why we're there. And the processes we have to deal with after the fact, so it's more of we just want to prevent that from happening," said Alexandra Britton, Offices Spokesperson with Merced County Sheriffs.
Officials say all waterways in Merced County will be off-limits this holiday weekend. They're reminding people to pay attention to any warning signs posted, explaining the goal is to keep people alive by keeping them away from deceptively dangerous creeks and rivers.
"Extremely swollen, extremely fast-moving. So, at this point, I have to say No there is no ideal spot for any family members or any recreational swimmers to attend this weekend," said Hudec
Local parks like Hagaman Park remain heavily flooded, and it's still not safe yet for kids to go out and play, officials tell Action News they'll be watching these waters into late summer.
For news updates, follow Nico Payne on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.