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Rural California Levees Besieged By Pounding Wet Winter

Dutra / Facebook

Crews work to repair a compromised levee along the Mokelumne River on Feb. 13, 2017.

Dutra / Facebook

(AP) - Federal and state workers are joining farmers in round-the-clock repairs to levees in California's saturated Central Valley, where the wet winter has dams and waterways near or past capacity.

Billions of dollars of flood projects in the past two decades have eased fears of levee breaks in Sacramento and other Central Valley cities.

But flood experts say levees protecting farms and farm towns also need billions of dollars in maintenance and upgrades.

San Joaquin County emergency spokesman Rex Osborn says state crews, federal engineers and others are joining farmers working nonstop to spot and repair weak spots in levees before the earth and rock barriers can break.

Authorities fear that a single levee failure could trigger a chain reaction of levee breaks.

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